Races to Watch—Hercules Edition: Feud on Council Adds to Campaign Heat; 3 Open Seats
The reputation of the city of Hercules has certainly endured quite a few blows but in the past two years the council has been replaced with all fresh faces. In the November 2010 election, voters installed two new candidates and after a recall three other new members joined the council in the June 2011 recall election. In addition, a new city manager has been hired to get Hercules back on track. Now that November is around the corner, Dan Romero, Bill Wilkins, and Gerard Boulanger are all running for re-election to keep the seats they won in the recall election and there are four additional challengers fighting for those three seats.
While there is plenty of new blood on the council, a bitter feud has been simmering between Mayor Dan Romero and Councilwoman Myrna de Vera that could have an impact on November’s race. It’s worth noting that Romero was chosen to replace deVera as Mayor and afterwards de Vera claimed that Romero violated the Brown Act by privately lobbying others to get the position. De Vera has claimed she has been bullied by the mayor and the city manager. Mercury News notes that “De Vera told this newspaper last month that Romero harbored bad feelings toward her ever since the campaign for a June 2011 special council election, in which Romero was elected to a seat vacated by a former councilman's resignation. After signing Romero's nomination papers, de Vera held a meet-and-greet event for one of Romero's opponents, Sherry McCoy.”
McCoy is one of the candidates trying to win a seat from the three incumbents, including Romero, in November’s race. De Vera is backing McCoy, Hector Rubio and Phil Simmons over Romero, Wilkins, and Boulanger. Another candidate for the council is Bill Kelly, who called on the state attorney general last month to investigate De Vera over the claim that she tried to silence a critic. Read about that here.
Adding to the campaign fray is the fact that De Vera’s husband is behind a PAC called Save Hercules and he has filed a public records request to obtain 10 months' worth of Mayor Romero's emails. More coverage here.