Letter: Why I support Richard Holober for State Assembly


Posted by on Fri, May 30, 2008

As the 19th Assembly District Democratic primary campaign heats up, our mailboxes have been flooded with claims of "special interest group" support for and against various candidates. I’d like to set the record straight about one of the candidates, Richard Holober. I have served on the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees with Richard for four years, and have known him personally for many years before that.

The only "special interests" that Richard represents are hard-working families in San Mateo County and beyond. I have seen him work tirelessly to support apprenticeship programs for our youth who want to go into the building trades; in support of training more nurses and allied health professionals to improve healthcare right here in our county; and helping airport workers laid off after 9/11 gain job opportunities in biotech manufacturing. Richard believes in creating good jobs with fair wages and benefits that people can afford to live on right here in San Mateo County.

He has also been a tireless advocate for our rights as consumers for financial privacy and fair billing practices. Richard is an environmentalist, endorsed by both the Sierra Club and Vote the Coast, and is the candidate in this race who has not taken money from developers! While on the College Board, Richard has supported the expansion of classes offered in Half Moon Bay and led our "Green Building" efforts. The only "special interests" he represents are people like us. That’s why I’m joining our teachers and nurses in supporting Richard Holober for election to the State Assembly. I hope Coastside residents will also vote for Richard.

Dave Mandelkern
San Mateo County Community College District

I’m not making a formal Coastsider endorsement in this race because I haven’t had time to examine all the candidates as closely as I would like.

However, I am happy to say that I plan to vote for Richard Holober in Tuesday’s primary. I met him at one of the three candidate get-togethers held at John Lynch’s house. I liked what he had to say and impressed with his record of standing up for the citizens against special interests.

Yes Barry. I had each of the Democratic candidates at my house to provide their positions on the important issues. Not in a debate format but where the attendees could ask any and all questions of the candidate(s).

I was most impressed with Richard Holober. One thing he has accomplished as President of the SMC Community College district was to provide affordable housing foe employees of the district. Shortly they will provide affordable housing for 40 plus employees of Canada College.  Plans are underway for Skyline College.

He has had my vote.

John Lynch

Nadia Holober, Richard’s wife, works for the big developers who profit from undermining Coastal Act requirements here.  She currently represents Ken Menasco ( working to build 2 houses double the size of any in the neighborhood)  in Montara.  When she was a SMCo Planning Commissioner I cannot recall any vote to protect coastal resources or our neighborhoods:  She voted for groundwater pollution by wells; houses on wells with no proof of a long-term, reliable water supply, & out-of-scale huge houses,  among other votes. 

While I find Richard a pleasant fellow, I think his wife’s choice to undo our community standards as a planning commissioner, and now to make her living ignoring the Coastal Act is unconscionable.  She can refuse to take such cases, but does not.  What kind of lobbyist are we sending to Sacramento along with Richard if he represents us? 

I want to repeat my support for Gina Papan here.  Over the years she has taken a strong interest in coast issues, women’s rights, law enforcement, and green technology.  I have found we can count on Gina to follow her words up with action. 


The sins of the spouse should not be visited onto the mate.
The sins of Bill Clinton should not be visited onto Hillary Clinton.
The sins of Nadia Holober should not be visited onto Richard Holober  


Still and all, wouldn’t we like candidates to broach these “natural” questions? They all know we can’t possibly avoid thinking about associations among relatives, so shouldn’t candidates state specific similarities and differences with their relatives clearly and up front?

You forgot about the sins of Lou Papan, John. And Gina Papan said she supports AB 1991.

I want to know who doesn’t suck, if anyone. The small forest that has gone into the (authorized and unauthorized) superficial printed campaign ads for this Assembly race makes me wonder if any of them have serious positions on the natural environment—not just the urban environmentalist smokescreen. It sure doesn’t show. The more I have thought about voting in the Democratic primary (as an independent), the lower my energy for it has dropped.

John…another axiom:

Birds of a Feather,
Flock Together!

John, doesn’t Richard benefit from Nadia’s anti-environment work simply because California is a community property state?

I’m still in a quandary over who to vote for.  Aside from what’s already been mentioned above, Richard also made a big point about his history with labor, particularly construction trades unions.  By and large, their only concern is maximizing how much is built in order to maximize jobs.

Kathryn, is Gina still supporting AB 1991?

From Gina Papan:
I do not and would not support AB 1991 unless it was amended to require adherence to the Coastal Act. I am very sympathetic to the concerns of the City of Half Moon Bay and the situation they are in—as Mayor I understand their constraints. As an Assembly member I would certainly work to create a satisfactory outcome for this situation. I apologize for having mis-spoken at last week’s debate and want to be clear—I do not support AB 1991 as it is currently written. I would not support legislation such as AB 1991 if it exempted some areas from California Environmental law.

Gina Papan

Gina sent this to me shortly after I asked her about her reported support for AB 1991. 



Thanks, that answered my only concern. I look forward to Gina Papan as our next State Assembly person.

Ken Johnson

>>From Gina Papan:
I do not and would not support AB 1991 unless it was amended<<

With all respect, I would characterize Gina’s e-mail as a change in position rather than a clarification of a misstatement.

I went back and reviewed the video and it seems to me that she clearly supports AB 1991 (but hedges a little). The e-mail is clearly in opposition (but hedges a little).

You can make your own interpretation—the portion is at the 24:30 mark of the debate video:



I know we can work with Gina to solve our problems; I suspect we might be able to work with Richard; Jerry’s voting record speaks for itself.  Vote for Gina.