When state Assembly member Rich Gordon terms out of office in 2016, Mountain View City Council members Mike Kasperzak and Margaret Abe-Koga are among those who could take his place.
Gordon, a Menlo Park Democrat, was elected to the seat before district lines were redrawn to include Mountain View and much of northern Santa Clara County. His district encompasses Mountain View, Sunnyvale, a portion of Cupertino, Woodside, Portola Valley, Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills,and the San Mateo County coast.
"As far as I know nobody has been as forthright as I am about their intent to run," said Kasperzak, a lawyer and mediator. "My plan is to file the paperwork after the beginning of the new year and get together an exploratory committee."
"I have been urged by many people to run for the 24th Assembly District seat in 2016 so I am exploring the possibility," Abe-Koga said in an email. She said she needs to consider impacts to her family, among other things.
Palo Alto council member Marc Berman has reportedly filed papers to allow himself to raise funds to campaign for the seat.
Abe-Koga terms off the council at the end of this year, after eight years on the council. By the end of 2016, Kasperzak will finish his second eight-year term on council.
Elected on a wave of anti-growth sentiment in 2006, Abe-Koga has supported labor unions and VTA transportation projects (she is a former chair of the VTA board) and has opposed some housing projects, such as housing in North Bayshore, putting her at odds with progressives in the city. Abe-Koga lost a bid for a seat on the El Camino Healthcare District board this year and had also considered a run for county supervisor at one point.
Kasperzak and Abe-Koga are Democrats, but Kasperzak has more consistently advocated for business interests than nearly anyone on the council, except perhaps Libertarian John Inks. He's also interested in pushing for potable reuse of water, reversing the Palmer court decision that limits the amount of affordable housing that can be required in new apartment projects, and reforming state environmental laws to make housing development less financially risky. He's familiarized himself with city issues at the state level for years as a board member of the League of California Cities
"I believe my work on the Mountain View City Council and on regional boards such as VTA, the Cities Association of Santa Clara County, the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Agency as well as work on such boards as the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley would be pertinent to the work conducted at the State level," Abe-Koga said. "I would like to bring to Sacramento the perspective of local government as it is often at the local government level where the rubber meets the road."
She said "technology, transportation, housing, the environment and education" would be her priorities.
Kasperzak ran for a state Assembly seat in 2007, then withdrew to support Santa Clara Democrat Dominic Caserta.