Another candidate enters supervisor race

The race for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ seat for the district that includes East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks is becoming a crowded field with a fifth candidate announcing today.

East Palo Alto City Councilman Antonio Lopez put out an announcement this morning saying he has raised over $50,000 from 250 individual donors in the past four weeks.

Lopez is seeking the supervisor seat being vacated by the term-limited Warren Slocum. Others who are in the race include another EPA council member, Lisa Gauthier, criminal justice reformer Paul Bocanegra and Maggie Cornejo. 

Cornejo, who is employed as director of government and community relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, was a legislative aide to Slocum for five years.

Supporters are already picking candidates. Here’s a smattering of their backers.

Gauthier’s donors include outgoing supervisor Warren Slocum, longtime Redwood City Councilwoman Alicia Aguirre, former East Palo Alto mayor Duane Bay, Assemblyman Duane Bay, Palo Alto Councilwoman Vicki Veenker, former East Palo Alto Councilwoman and Ravenswood school board member Sharifa Wilson, Burlingame council members Michael Brownrigg and Donna Colson, real estate consultant Owen Byrd, former state Assemblywoman Nora Campos of San Jose, Palo Alto school board members Jennifer DeBrienza and Jesse Ladomirak, Karen Grove of Menlo Park, Rev. Paul Bains, San Mateo County School Superintendent Nancy Magee, Millbrae Councilwoman Gina Papan (who was pushed aside in the District 1 supervisor race when former Congresswoman Jackie Speier stepped into the race), Menlo Park Fire Protection District board member Robert Silano

Bocanegra’s backers include Nancy Goodban and Jim Lawrence, both of the Fixin’ San Mateo committee that wants to be a watchdog of the sheriff, 

Cornejo’s backers include supervisor Noelia Corzo, Chris Struken and Elmer Martinez Saballos of the Redwood City Council, former Redwood City councilwoman Janet Borgens and North Fair Oaks community council member Kathleen Daly. 

North Fair Oaks Community Council member Blair Whitney appears to have pulled papers with the San Mateo County Elections Office to run for the seat, which would make it a six candidate primary.

The deadline to file is Dec. 8 and the candidates will vie in a primary next March. If nobody gets 50% or more of the vote, the top-two vote-getters go on to the November 2024 ballot.

Correction: A previous version said that Lopez worked for state Sen. Josh Becker. But Becker’s office called to say that Lopez hasn’t worked there for over a year.


  1. The article highlights Antonio Lopez’s candidacy for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in the East Palo Alto district, emphasizing his successful fundraising efforts. However, some critics argue that Lopez’s contributions to East Palo Alto have been limited to clout chasing and selling poetry books. Additionally, it’s noted that he identifies as a Muslim and aligns himself with socialist ideals. As the race for the supervisor seat unfolds, it will be interesting to see how these factors play into the campaign and the voters’ decisions.

  2. Why is Becker’s office seemingly distancing themselves with a proactive call to correct a previous version of the story to clarify that he “hasn’t worked there in over a year”. I called late January of this year (2023) hoping to leave him a message. I inquired if he was an intern, volunteer, or employee; seemed a bit weird that he wouldn’t have voicemail. I was told, indeed, he WAS an employee. AND, that wasn’t “over a year ago”.

  3. Since Antonio Lopez is likely to be mayor soon, he’ll be too distracted by his Supervisor campaign to do right by residents. He’ll certainly use his status as mayor to get a leg up.

  4. I tried to read Lopez’s book but the grammar was so poor it was unreadable. I guess it’s supposed to be poetry, but it’s laughably bad. Yes, he’s angry, but he’s unable to tell his story in a coherent way. If he can’t communicate in writing, I don’t think he’ll be effective on the Board of Supervisors.

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