Bruce Balshone’s analysis of Tuesday’s county elections


Posted by
Thu, June 10, 2010


Examiner public policy blogger Bruce Balshone has an analysis of this week’s county elections that provides some interesting insight into what’s coming in November. Here are some highlights of a much-longer piece.

On the District 3 Supervisor race, a bunch of conservative voters will be without a first choice candidate in the November election.

Third place candidate and Sequoia Healthcare District Director Jack Hickey may have seen his numbers diminished by the candidacy of fourth-place finisher and San Carlos Councilmember Matt Grocott. While Grocott spent next to nothing on his campaign, he nearly ran the table on local newspaper endorsements – a bounty of free media. Grocott, like Hickey, ran on a conservative platform of reducing government spending and going after public employee union pensions and salaries. With two like minded candidates, the conservative vote may have split among the two.

Meanwhile, in the County Treasurer-Tax collector race, Dave Mandelkern still has shot of beating quasi-incumbent top-vote-getter Sandie Arnott:

Current Deputy Treasurer Sandie Arnott, who has worked for current Treasurer Lee Buffington for the last 20 years of Buffington’s 25 year tenure, was the top vote-getter with 38.4 percent. Arnott’s top placement has surprised some due to the baggage she carried into the election. [...]

Arnott was outspent and did not garner the kind of endorsements of at least two of her opponents. Despite all of the publicity surrounding the Lehman losses, limited campaign cash, and endorsements, Arnott topped the list on June 8. The likely explanation: a ballot designation that mirrored the title of the office in a down-ticket election about which most voters know little about.

Coming in behind Arnott was San Mateo County Community College District Trustee Dave Mandelkern who garnered 27.8 percent of the vote.

Mandelkern kicked in a good deal of his own money to advertise his candidacy and enjoyed the backing of organized labor and the county’s Democratic Party committee – the combination of which may have helped him outpace the third-place candidate Joe Galligan, a CPA and former Burlingame mayor and city councilmember by 1800 votes.

Galligan also has deep family roots on the Peninsula and garnered many of the higher profile endorsements from local elected officials and has received the two of the major local newspaper endorsements including the Daily Post and the Daily Journal, both of which give Galligan high praise. [...]

Despite the second place finish, expect to see political and media endorsements flow to Mandelkern for the runoff as the legacy of Lehman Brothers will continue to dictate the terms of this election.


It’s time to crank up the campaigning.  Not only does Sandie Arnott bear some responsibility for the Lehman loss, she carries the baggage of a bloated office budget, mismanaged for 25 years.

Dave Mandelkern has the background and experience to revitalize a stale clerkdom.  The Coastsider should go all out for Dave’s candidacy because if he loses San Mateo County’s budget and residents will be at great risk.

Talk to your friends and neighbors and do not allow Sandie Arnott to win based on a pseudo title and no record of accomplishment.