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Paul Fong Found a Challenger in Chad Walsh

Due to new 'top-two' open primary system, approved by voters in 2010, both candidates will square off in general election this fall.

They ran in Tuesday's Primary Election and you'll see them running again come Nov. 6.

Assemblyman Paul Fong, 59, D-Cupertino, hopes to get re-elected to the Assembly—though his district has changed—but he's challenged by

The district includes Cupertino, Los Gatos, Campbell, and Saratoga.

San Jose State University political scientist Larry Gerston said incumbent Fong comes from a district that's heavily Democratic and is inheriting new territory with the

Walsh was listed as a Republican until recently when he changed his party affiliation to Independent, along with other contenders in the open primary who bet that in a heavily Democratic district their chances were better as Independent, Gerston explained.

"If Fong walks away with a 60-40 vote, it's reasonable to believe that chances are that he'll prevail," Gerston added.

However, early results Tuesday evening had both candidates separated by a narrow margin. With 128 of 261 reporting numbers, Fong capture 54 percent and Walsh challenging at close to 46 percent.

Regardless of which candidate receives the most votes Tuesday, they'll each have five months to prepare for the general election, Gerston noted.

Ann Jasper June 06, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Prof. Gerston shouldn't comment on matters of which he has little knowledge. Mr. Walsh didn't decide to run as an independent because "he thought it would be better to run as an independent than as a Republican." Chad ran as an independent because he IS an independent. I have known Mr. Walsh for 15 years, and came to know his political views quite well during our study group meetings at SCU Law and in the years since then. He has always been moderate in his views, and has long been frustrated with the way the two-party system seems to force candidates to take positions contrary to their personal beliefs. For instance, Chad is on the record in favor of marriage equality, which is decidedly not lock-step with the Republican agenda. Yes, Chad was a registered Republican before becoming an independent - but he changed his affiliation because he could no longer abide by the Republican platform and not, as Prof. Gerston claims, because he thought it was politically advantageous. Since when has running as an independent been an "easy" way to win an election? My undergraduate degree is in political science, and every professor I had lectured on how candidates are better off running within the two-party system (funding, publicity, endorsements, etc) than as a third-party or independent candidate. I wish Prof. Gerston would've made an effort to speak with Mr. Walsh before judging his motives for running as an independent.

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