Former supervisor endorses candidate
by Peter Burke
Aug 16, 2012 | 7216 views | 12 12 comments | 526 526 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Fifth District Santa Cruz County Supervisor candidate Bruce McPherson has gained a well-connected ally in his bid to become the next Santa Cruz County Supervisor.

McPherson and Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley made the rounds to local media outlets Tuesday, Aug. 14, to announce that Keeley will actively endorse and support McPherson in his bid for Santa Cruz County Supervisor.

The endorsement by Keeley, a self-described liberal Democrat and former 5th District County Supervisor and Assemblyman, comes about one month after McPherson dropped his affiliation with the Republican Party and registered as “declined to state.”

“I’m very proud to add my name and step up in the general election and add my full and complete support for Bruce,” Keeley said. “When looking at this election, there is not a bad person in the race, but there is a great choice.”

McPherson won 49.33 percent of votes cast in the 5th District primary election on June 5 — just shy of the 50 percent-plus-one majority he needed to win the race outright.

He is in a runoff with Eric Hammer of Brookdale, who in June garnered 37.95 percent of the district-wide vote.

"They have a long time friendship, so I am not surprised,” Hammer said after hearing about Keeley’s endorsement. “I’m proud of all my local neighborhood endorsements, and we’re going to win because I represent the Fifth District of Santa Cruz County, not Sacramento. This isn’t a race for large name endorsements – big name endorsements won’t protect our environment, fix our roads or bring resources to our families. I’m focused on local issues, local endorsements, and what my local community needs."

Keeley added his name to McPherson’s supporters, he said, because of their time in the legislature. McPherson’s eight years as a state senator (1996-2004) coincided with Keeley’s six years as an assemblyman. During that time, Keeley said, they developed a strong professional relationship.

One of their key accomplishments was the passage of Proposition 40, the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000.

The two co-authored the $2.1 billion bill, which Keeley points out helped to pay for Junction Park in Boulder Creek, the Felton Covered Bridge Park in Felton and the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz.

Keeley also said that as the state shifts more responsibility and funding to the county level for services, that he believes McPherson’s connections and understanding from his time in state government would serve Santa Cruz County well.

Comments
(12)
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Cali T
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August 18, 2012
This is the best news. Thank you Fred Keeley! Will be fun watching the endorsements to follow.
Donna Blaine
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August 17, 2012
Fred Keeley would never have been awarded the $180,000 per year job of County Treasurer were it not for his service to the Democratic party in Santa Cruz County. He is not even remotely qualified for that position.

I am have no doubt that Mr. McPherson is a good man who has the best intentions, he is the perfect candidate for 3rd District supervisor, the community he has lived in and served.

That whole redistricting thing now seems really fishy, remove good potential community candidates who have long served and know well the 5th district (Dene). Time to follow the money.
Beth G
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August 17, 2012
Debatable points. Keeley has been long known for his ability to reach across party lines. Also, there are many Democrats who, like myself, have become extremely frustrated over the dismal direction of the party.

Keeley's Treasurer job had less to do with his party affiliation than his connections on all sides.

As an aside, I had been undecided until today when I read the letter in the Sentinel today from a Hammer supporter or operative. It made me nauseous. My full support goes to McPherson now.
Beth G
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August 17, 2012
Also, your points seem to drive home what many of us are frustrated about. You are so connected or beholden to the Democratic Party in Santa Cruz that you can't assess ability, intention, temperament. You just want your Democratic guy to win.

No matter how bad that would be.

I think that's a wrong direction for the Democratic Party. At some point, cut your losses and work toward the candidate who will lead with grace, class, and ability to get things done.
Donna again
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August 17, 2012
No,

I am not beholden, just Jane decline to state citizen, thinking independent thoughts about a non-partisan race, marveling that the folks who have benefitted so richly, on my dime, from playing those politics are now getting a hall pass to condemn the same, and to continue business as usual under the banner of bipartisanship.

Beth G
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August 18, 2012
Fair enough. But what does it say about our county government that lip service to a party, rather than actual qualifications, gets someone the job. All the more reason to move away from that stagnant party.

Agree that Dene would have been a good candidate.
Ezra Pounde
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August 18, 2012
Keeley is not publicly condemning anyone. He is endorsing the better candidate, the guy most qualified for the office of supervisor for the 5th District.

It's a nonpartisan race, yet the banner of bipartisanship is a good one.
Donna again
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August 18, 2012
Having been around for a long while, my fear is that Dene and Donna are supporting the guy that was hand picked and talked into running for a race those old government cronies thought would be low hanging fruit cause the only candidate running a viable race wasn't being supported by the dominant political machine (Stone, Keeley). I can't imagine Dene ever being taken in by that smarmy Keeley come on.

The same people who gerrymandered the 5th District to exclude a guy who would have done the right thing for the community he served, had the concern and backbone to stay locally focused because you are right, that job is not about partisan politics, it is about knowing the community you serve first hand and advocating for the needs of the people who live in it.
Elizabeth H
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August 17, 2012
I hope this is a sign of change in the way local government is handled. Party favoritism has completely stagnated sustainability in the 5th District and the county.

A more diverse board of directors would better represent the diversity in Santa Cruz County. Expecially in the 5th District.

Absolutely happy with this endorsement and absolutely happy to vote for Bruce McPherson.

Long time Democrat as well.
SLV Dem
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August 16, 2012
Good for you, Keeley! McPherson is the best candidate for the Fifth District. He listens, he knows how to get results, and he is not in this for status or title. This isn't about political party. I'm a lifelong Democrat, who has lived in SLV for 17 years and believes McPherson is best suited to represent me.
Sam FP
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August 16, 2012
No surprise. This is the right direction. Collaboration, rising above party fanboy/fangirl mentality. Much better.

Voting for Bruce in November. Gracias, Fred Keeley!
Alicia McKinnon
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August 16, 2012
Way to go Bruce McPherson and Fred Keeley! Thank you Fred for reaching across party lines and having the foresight to realize that it takes all sides working together to move our district forward.


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