The Simi Valley Police Officers Association got involved in the recent city elections in a way they haven't done before. They have argued that the city hasn't dealt fairly with them in recent contract negotiations and that the contention was over more than just benefits. They announced their intentions to get much more involved in local elections long before the final field was settled.
They endorsed Bob Huber for Mayor over City Council Member Steve Sojka and Keith Mashburn for City Council.
The race for Mayor was an open seat election but the city council election had two incumbents running and several challengers for two seats. The POA wanted to defeat incumbents with Steve Sojka, Glen Becerra, and Michelle Foster on the ballot they had their targets.
Huber was also able to earn the support of Rep. Elton Gallegly, State Senator Tony Strickland, the Ventura County Republican Central Committee, and two former chairs of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee.
Their endorsement of Huber over Sojka wasn't much of a surprise as Bob Huber was the only other candidate for mayor on the ballot and their goal was to defeat an incumbent. Steve Sojka counted as an incumbent because he was already on the city council.
What was much more interesting is their endorsement in the city council race. They had two strong challengers to choose from: retired firefighter Keith Mashburn and LAPD officer Mike Judge. They chose to endorse just Keith Mashburn, although they had many complimentary things to say about Mike Judge. They could have endorsed both of them and tried to get them to run as a slate. I haven't studied slate elections in nonpartisan elections enough to give a well informed opinion, but I am very interested in your opinions on this strategy. You don't need to register to post a comment but keep it classy.
That's academic for now as they chose to endorse just one challenger. I imagine one of the reasons they endorsed Keith Mashburn over Mike Judge was that they thought Mashburn was more electable. That of course turned out to be funny because Mike Judge won without their support.
I am very impressed with Mike Judge's campaign. He had very little money and almost no endorsements. His fundraisers were mostly attended by actual friends of his. That's unlike when other politicians call big campaign contributors that have business in front of them "friends".
The POA most wanted to defeat Glen Beccera on the city council but they ended up contributing to the defeat of Michelle Foster instead. The official score records their endorsed candidates going 1 for 2 in this election but they came out as clear victors. They were able to defeat two incumbents and a police officer was elected to the council.
Click on continue reading for their press release.
It will be interesting to see how involved they will be in two years when Bob Huber will be up for re-election and the two seats currently occupied by Steve Sojka and Barbra Williamson will be up for election.
Both of those incumbents have significant strengths that might deter many challengers from running against them if they both run again. Steve Sojka obviously has a large base of support he built upon in the last election and Barbra Williamson has been very open in her opposition to the landfill/dump expansion plans.
There are many arguments over the validity of expanding the landfill but it is a fact that enlarging the landfill to take more trash from outside areas is very unpopular. A smart politician might come out and convince people that it is in the best interest of the city to support the expansion. But so far that hasn't happened. That means Barbra Williamson goes into the next cycle with a a strong advantage.