Bob Baker, the challenger to an incumbent with the same name in next week's San Clemente City Council election, says he wants to set the record straight on his now-defunct candidacy.
(Baker's name will still appear on the ballot because he dropped out after it was too late to remove his name.)
Incumbent City Councilman Bob Baker (designated on the ballot as Robert "Bob" Baker 1) has hurled accusations that challenger Bob Baker (still on the ballot as Robert "Bob" Baker 0) was running a decoy candidacy to split the incumbent's votes.
Baker 0 denies being a plant. "I filed to run for San Clemente City Council, because I was against the other Bob Baker’s voting record," he said in a letter to the editor to the Orange County Register. "The other Bob Baker refused to support handicapped restrooms at Courtney’s Sandcastle, he voted against the Farmer’s Market, and he voted against the Sports Wall of Fame at the Vista Hermosa sports park."
Baker 0 went on to say he decided to stop campaigning because of harsh political attacks, finances and the realization he didn't have the "political muscle" in town to win.
"As I explored the financial and time commitment of the campaign, I began to have second thoughts," Baker 0 writes in his letter. "In addition, the other Bob Baker’s attacks continued to increase. In the end it became clear I did not have the needed political muscle and experience to win, and I was unwilling to have my family endure the other Bob Baker’s heartless insults."
Baker 1's opponents have said they were unaware of Baker 0's decision to run when he first started collecting signatures.