Antioch candidates tout endorsements in council races, Torres-Walker, Wilson running as a slate backed by Mayor Thorpe

Wilson backed by the most politicians; Torres-Walker backed by many obscure and/or out-of-town organizations; both backed by Bernie Sanders’ organization and injecting partisan politics into campaign for non-partisan office

Ogorchock, Motts backed by Antioch Police Officers; White endorsed by Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica, Sheriff Livingston

Building Trades endorses both Motts and Torres-Walker; Assistant D.A. Mary Knox endorses both Ogorchock and White

Photo of Torres-Walker campaign door hanger showing endorsements by council colleagues Thorpe and Wilson. Source: Antioch resident of Council District 1

By Allen D. Payton

In the races for Antioch City Council Districts 1 and 4, the candidates have been announcing endorsements they’ve received from various individuals, including elected officials, as well as groups, including labor unions and the Antioch Police Officers Association (APOA). Incumbent Councilwomen Tamisha Torres-Walker and Monica Wilson are running as a slate with the backing of Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

District 1 Candidate Endorsements

In the District 1 race, in addition to the support of her two council colleagues, incumbent Councilwoman Torres-Walker has announced a variety of endorsements on her official Facebook page, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1020, Central Labor Council which didn’t interview either of her opponents before issuing their endorsement, and the Contra Costa Building & Construction Trades Council which also endorsed Joy Motts. Following Wilson’s lead, she’s injecting partisan politics into a non-partisan race touting the endorsement of the Contra Costa Young Democrats and the Marsh Creek Democratic Club. She also is endorsed by Antioch School Board Vice President Antonio Hernandez, Antioch Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Marie Arce, Contra Costa Water District Director Patt Young and State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

But many of Torres-Walker’s endorsements are from out of town and/or obscure organizations, such as Our Revolution East Bay which, according to their website, is “a local chapter of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution”; Lift Up Contra Costa Action, which is part of ACCE and a coalition that includes Torres-Walker’s Safe Return Project non-profit; the Black Church PAC, East Bay Action, California Working Families Party, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance which is also part of Lift Up Contra Costa Action, Black Women Organizing for Political Action, and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action (ACCE) Action, which has a conflict of interest as one of the sponsors for the North Antioch Candidates Forum scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Former Councilwoman Joy Motts received the endorsement of the APOA, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 302, Ironworkers Local 378, Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Local Union No. 104 and Contra Costa Building & Construction Trades Council, who endorsed both her and Torres-Walker. Motts also has the support of Antioch School Board President Gary Hack, former Antioch School Board Trustee Barbara Cowan, former County Board of Education Trustee Richard Asadoorian and former Antioch Mayor Don Freitas.

Former Antioch School Board President Diane Gibson-Gray said she tried for the APOA endorsement but didn’t receive it. She also participated in the Delta Association of Realtors and the East Bay Times’ interviews from which their endorsements have not yet been announced. However, Gibson-Gray said she is not soliciting endorsements from politicians or friends in her campaign. Yet, if offered she will accept them, including the endorsement of former Antioch High Principal Louie Rocha.

District 4 Candidate Endorsements

Barbanica endorses White. Source: Facebook

In District 4, running for her fourth term on the city council, incumbent Councilwoman Wilson once again is also injecting partisan politics into the local, non-partisan race by touting endorsements by the California Democratic Party, Democratic Party of Contra Costa County and the Marsh Creek Democratic Club. On her website it shows she’s been endorsed by the Central Labor Council, Contra Costa Building & Construction Trades Council, and three of the same, obscure or out-of-town organizations backing Torres-Walker, including Lift Up Contra Costa Action, ACCE, and Our Revolution East Bay. In the past, both Lift Up Contra Costa and Our Revolution East Bay endorsed Diane Becton for Contra Costa District Attorney.

Wilson also has the most politicians backing her, including her council colleagues, Thorpe and Torres-Walker, as well as Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Senator Steve Glazer, Assemblymembers Tim Grayson and Lori Wilson, Contra Costa D.A. Becton, Supervisor Federal Glover, East Bay Park District Board Chair Colin Coffey and controversial Brentwood District 1 Councilwoman Jovita Mendoza.

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who was gerrymandered into District 4 earlier this year by Wilson, Torres-Walker and Thorpe, also received the endorsement of the APOA as well as the California Apartment Association. Individual endorsements of her campaign include Jack Roddy, Antioch School Board Trustee Mary Rocha, Louie Rocha, Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff, Assistant D.A. Mary Knox and Greg Feere, former president of the Contra Costa Building & Construction Trades Council.

Shawn Pickett designated by Moms Demand Action as a Gun Sense Candidate. Source: Facebook

Another challenger, former Police Crime Prevention Commission Chair Sandra White has the backing of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica who announced his support in a YouTube video posted on his official Facebook page on Sept. 25 instead of his council colleague, Ogorchock, who he said he supports and still wants on the council as a “very positive voice” but wants her to remain in District 3 for the next two years.

White also has the backing of Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston, former State Assemblyman Jim Frazier, former Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, former Antioch Councilman Brian Kalinowski, former Antioch City Clerk and Councilman Arne Simonsen, and Nina Carter, Executive Director, Bonafide Sisterhood, Inc., as well as endorsed by Assistant D.A. Mary Knox, who also endorsed Ogorchock.

While not an endorsement, newcomer and retired Richmond cop Shawn Pickett recently announced on his campaign Facebook page that his “campaign has been awarded the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction” for “advocating for gun violence prevention and making a commitment to govern with gun safety in mind, if elected.”

The lists for each candidate are not complete but include their major endorsements. See their websites or Facebook pages for complete lists. The election is November 8.

the attachments to this post:

Shawn Pickett Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate FB

Barbanica endorsement of Sandra White

Torres-Walker campaign door hanger 2022

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