FREMONT — Fremont Councilmember Bob Wieckowski narrowly beat Ohlone College trustee Garrett Yee to win the Democratic Party's nomination in the 20th Assembly District.
Wieckowski never relinquished a narrow lead Tuesday night as votes continued pouring in through Wednesday's wee hours.
With all precincts reporting, Wieckowski led Yee 52-48 percent in the district, which includes all of Fremont, Milpitas, Union City, Newark and Sunol and parts of Hayward, Castro Valley and Pleasanton.
Wieckowski will face Adnan Shahab, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, in November to succeed termed-out Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark.
"I'm delighted at all the people who supported me and voted for me, and I'm real proud of the campaign that we ran and the success of the campaign," Wieckowski said.
Yee called Wieckowski on Wednesday to concede and wish him well in November.
"I have no sour grapes," he said. "We did the best we could, and under the circumstances, I think we did quite well."
Wieckowski said he plans to stay on the Fremont City Council through the November election. If he beats Shahab in the heavily Democratic Assembly district, Fremont council members will either appoint a replacement or call a special election.
Mayor Bob Wasserman said he would prefer that the council appoint someone to serve out the final two years of Wieckowski's term, stating that "a special election would be stupid because it would cost so much."
Yee said he hasn't decided if he will run for re-election on the Ohlone board in November.
The hotly contested Assembly primary soaked up more than $600,000 in special interest dollars with Yee supported by insurers and the medical industry and Wieckowski backed by unions and trial attorneys.
The interest groups paid for many of the dozens of campaign mailers sent out on behalf of both candidates. Yee took special exception to a series of fliers by Wieckowski and his supporters tying Yee to insurance premium increases because he works for an organization that calculates the cost of workers' compensation insurance for insurers and state regulators.
"It was pretty ugly," he said.
Despite all the money spent, voter turnout was low. Although absentee ballots delivered to polling places still must be counted, as of Wednesday only 24,135 votes were cast out of 150,619 eligible voters. Wieckowski won Alameda County cities by 7 percentage points, which more than made up for Yee's 11-point margin in Milpitas. The latest tallies Wednesday had Wieckowski with 12,534 votes to Yee's 11,494 — a difference of 1,040 votes.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. For more Fremont news, read his blog: www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat.