[Editor: You may want to skip the last half of this report. The reporter gives nearly half of her report to the Cannabis measure D outcome, including extensive quotes from the losing parties and none from those supporting the majority YES on measure D. – R.S.]
ELECTION 2020: Steve Young wins Benicia mayor race, cannabis measure passes
Cannabis measure passesVallejo Times-Herald, By Katy St. Clair, November 4, 2020
BENICIA — Steve Young has been elected mayor of Benicia and a ballot measure he supported, Measure D, was also approved, possibly opening the door for more than one cannabis dispensary in town.
Councilmember Tom Campbell was also re-elected for another term and Terry Scott was also elected to the council as results are now final from Tuesday’s Election Night.
Young defeated fellow Councilmember Christina Strawbridge, with 54.59 percent of the vote. Strawbridge garnered 31.02 percent of the vote and third candidate, Jason Diavatis, received 14.38 percent of the vote.
Young has been on the Benicia City Council for four years and served on the planning commission before that.
“I feel enthused” Young said about his win. “I feel ready to get to work. I think it was a big win for the community and a repudiation of negative campaigning. It should send a message to Valero and others that Benicia voters aren’t going to be swayed by this type of campaigning.”
The mayoral race was at times contentious, helped along by texts, robo-calls, mailers and TV ads paid for by Valero in support of Strawbridge. The oil company pumped more than $250,000 into the race, despite Strawbridge’s stated displeasure with their help.
“Congratulations to Steve Young,” said Strawbridge. “He won decisively.”
Young backed Measure D and made it one of his campaign issues and Strawbridge opposed it.
“It was close,” she said. The measure won with just over half of the votes. Measure D allows the City of Benicia to add more cannabis dispensaries, though the measure is what is called an ‘advisory vote,’ meaning it merely takes the pulse of the electorate. It will not affect local law.”
Benicia resident Bart Bright, who opposed Measure D, agrees that the vote was close and says that shows that the town is divided on the issue.
“The main thing is, we haven’t even opened the first one. Why don’t we just wait?” he said.
Bright also questions the public safety risks involved with having dispensaries, citing a shooting of two dispensary security guards in Oakland on Tuesday.
Strawbridge foresees “a big fight” over adding more dispensaries but she praises the young people that created signs around town opposing the measure, saying that those kids “are our future.”