There’s nothing like $70,400 in contributions to help ease hard feelings after a bitter election campaign.
Tuesday, the California Democratic Party reported receiving $35,200 from state Sen. Steve Glazer, an Orinda Democrat who defeated party-backed rival, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, in last spring’s bitter $12.1 million special election in the East Bay’s 7th Senate District. Glazer gave an identical amount to the party in December, putting him at the hard-money maximum for the election cycle. The money will go to help elect Democrats to the Senate.
Party activists had little good to say about Glazer a year ago. Within minutes of his May 19 victory, the state party’s then-executive director, Shawnda Westly, questioned Glazer’s Democratic credentials and accused him of running “a cynical campaign to appeal to Republican voters.” A few weeks later, Westly scolded Glazer for abstaining on votes on the minimum wage and oil drilling.
The party donations are the latest signs of bygones-be-bygones from last year’s fight. Unions that supported Bonilla last year donated tens of thousands of dollars to Glazer through the rest of 2015, filings show. And although there had been predictions that Glazer would face a serious Democratic challenger for re-election this fall, none emerged.
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Glazer said he plans to attend the state party’s convention next week in San Jose. At last year’s gathering, party activists phone-banked for Bonilla.
“I’m looking forward to renewing my friendships at the convention,” Glazer said Wednesday. “If the Democratic Party is going to grow its membership in the coming years, they’re going to need to have a diversity of views.”
The California Democratic Party referred comment to Senate Democrats’ political spokesman Jason Kinney, who said Glazer “has been an effective senator for his constituents and an important voice in our Democratic Caucus.”
Westly now is a senior strategist for the party.