After months of quietly gearing up for a possible run, state Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont)—who represents parts of the Tri-Valley and South Bay—has formally launched his campaign for the 15th Congressional District.
On Tuesday, the former assemblyman became the highest-profile contender vying to succeed Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), whose pursuit of the U.S. Presidency sent a host of East Bay pols scrambling for shot at climbing the political ranks.
“In Congress, I’ll do everything in my power to keep immigrant families together, provide affordable health care access to millions of Americans, confront the crisis of climate change head on and tackle the rising inequity of wages in our country,” Wieckowski vowed in a news release sent to reporters to officially announce his long-presumed run.
No doubt he had someone carefully proof the press statement after spelling his own name wrong—”Wieskowski”—in the initial statement of candidacy he filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Wieckowski joins Hayward Councilwoman Aisha Wahab in the field for Swalwell’s seat. Wahab is known for becoming one of the first Afghan-American elected in the nation when she won her municipal seat last year. Like Wieckowski, she promised to champion causes that protect the middle class such as “Medicare for All” and living wages.
Unlike Wieckowski, Wahab could likely to appeal to women in the post-#MeToo era. The state senator’s reputation took a hit this past year after revelations about how his office treated a staffer who was allegedly raped by another district’s legislative aide.
According to the Sac Bee and sources familiar with the case, the Wieckowski staffer, Catalina Sanchez, filed a claim saying the state Senate failed to accommodate her emotional disabilities by firing her for “minor work performance issues” when she was taking some time off to seek counseling.