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.