Palo Alto Congressman Marc Berman takes on Republican Tim Dec for the Peninsula, Coastal District

Running for a third term in the California Assembly, Palo Alto’s Marc Berman takes on Republican challenger and small-business owner Tim Dec to represent residents of coastal San Mateo County and the southern peninsula.

Berman, a Democrat, was elected in 2016 to represent much of the Lower Peninsula, but changes to the legislative map after the 2020 census placed more conservative coastal communities in his district.

After the 2020 census, the boundaries between Assembly Districts shifted, placing communities on the North Shore of San Mateo County as well as the West Valley of District 23, as well as Lower Peninsula towns like Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View. The two candidates will face off in the Nov. 8 election, as they both run uncontested for Assembly District 23 in the June 7 primary.

When he won his seat in 2016 to represent Assembly District 24, Berman defeated Democrat Vicki Veenker by about 6,000 votes, and since then he has faced only Republican opposition. In 2018 Berman won over Alex Glew by 54 percentage points, and in 2020 he beat Peter Ohtaki by a similar margin.

Now Dec hopes to unseat Berman, and he may have an advantage Republicans haven’t had in the past. The new District 23 covers much of the same territory as the current Berman District, but adds the county’s North Shore, Saratoga, and communities west of San Jose that are more conservative. Berman lost East Palo Alto and Sunnyvale in the new lines and gained coastal communities as far as Pacifica.

Still, Berman hopes his work on climate change education and policy in the Assembly will resonate with voters.

Berman served as a Palo Alto city councilman for four years beginning in 2012 and previously worked for U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo’s office and the Department of Justice. He holds a law degree from the University of Southern California and attended Georgetown University for his bachelor’s degree. He practiced corporate law before entering politics and also worked at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap in STEM education in Silicon Valley. .

In the Assembly, Berman worked primarily in the areas of education, climate change and voter rights, he said on his campaign website.

“I wrote the law to make California a permanent mail-in voting state,” Berman said. “As other states make it harder to vote, I’m proud to lead the effort to make it easier for you to participate in your democracy.”

Berman also drafted “legislation banning the sale of new gas-powered equipment like leaf blowers and lawn mowers from 2024”, an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. He also worked on the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021, which makes it easier for students to transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges.

In fundraising, Berman brings in around $850,000 available to run his campaign, and he boasts endorsements from Governor Gavin Newsom and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. Berman has come under fire for handling a sexual harassment allegation in his office and for dropping the “F” bomb during a Capitol hearing.

Republican Dec is running his campaign focused on conservative tax values, environmental issues and loosening regulations. Dec grew up in Oregon and moved to the Bay Area after earning an electrical engineering degree from Oregon State University. He’s lived in the Bay Area since 2002 and worked in the tech industry for 30 years. He recently worked with Apple, when he realized he wanted to get into politics, according to this campaign website.

“After a successful 30-year career in technology, most recently with Apple, I realized that my passion was not technology, but helping my colleagues solve problems and teaching them how to do it themselves”, said Dec. “With this idea, I decided to take the risky and unusual step of stepping away from my job and finding a better way to pursue my passion.”

Dec now runs a tech coaching business and volunteers as a tech tutor at Little House Senior Center in Menlo Park. As a Republican, he faces fierce competition on the peninsula, but he said his passion is to “find common ground, regardless of politics.”

He is currently a board member and treasurer of the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition.

“After becoming a delegate to the California GOP, I felt the party needed more moderate conservative voices in the state capitol, he said of his political leanings.

Dec operates on a platform of regulatory relief, fiscal restraint, market-based climate change solutions, and “rejection of toxic policies.”

For Dec, California is one of the most regulated states in the country, and he is advocating for an easing of the “onerous regulations, excessive fees and permit delays” that he says are forcing businesses to close or leave. the state completely.

At the same time, Dec thinks California shouldn’t expand existing programs or create new long-term programs with the new budget surplus, instead advocating to “give back as much of those tax surpluses as possible to Californians and strategically allocate the rest to the crucial areas. needed in the state.

Dec also wants to find “market-based climate policies” based on a “non-regulatory small government policy approach to tackling climate change.”

Dec is endorsed by the San Mateo County and Santa Clara County Republican parties.

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