The Bay Area politically is deep, deep blue, but now it has a patch of red on its east side. That’s because Republican Catharine Baker won the open seat last week in Assembly District 16, covering Livermore, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Orinda and other cities. Baker beat Democrat Tim Sbranti, taking one of the 27 Assembly seats the GOP won statewide and denying Democrats the supermajority they enjoyed last term.
Assemblywoman-elect Baker talked to KQED's Cy Musiker Wednesday about her surprise win and some of the issues on which she ran. Some edited excerpts below, followed by the extended audio interview.
On how she defines herself as a Republican, considering she is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage
Baker: I’m a Catharine Baker Republican, for sure. I certainly do think I match my district, and that’s a district that’s fiscally conservative and prudent. Looking for government that’s not out of bounds in terms of size and growth, but is maybe a little more restrained, and spending money wisely and not incurring a lot of debt. But leaving individual decisions as to how one conducts their life up to the individual.
On her support of the Vergara decision, in which a Superior Court judge ruled teacher tenure discriminates against poor families