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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
ContributorAssemblymember candidate Bob Brunton sets his sights on November election

Assemblymember candidate Bob Brunton sets his sights on November election

After passing the California State Assembly District 24 primary, Bob Brunton has high hopes about the upcoming November election. Brunton, a Republican, has lived in the district since 1980, and he has been a business owner of multiple businesses ever since he started his first in 1987. He describes himself as having four types of experience fit for an assemblymember: public sector experience, private sector experience, local connection experience, and life experience. 

Brunton has served three times over twelve years as a Board of Trustees member at Ohlone College. Through this experience, Brunton has learned about both good things and things he believes require fixing in California education. He states that he’s proud of his governing record as a Trustee at Ohlone. 

Brunton has also owned several businesses, including some in Milpitas. He states that he fully understands what it’s like to run a business in California. 

He has also been involved in the community overall. Brunton helped to start the Fremont Education Foundation to bring back and help enhance music programs in the Fremont Unified School District. He was also part of the Fremont Rotary, helped to start the Newark Toastmasters, and helped to start the Milpitas Cares Organization. 

Outside of the overall community, Brunton also has his fair share of hobbies. He states that he likes to read and hike and that he has two dogs. He also has a wife and together they have two daughters and a grandchild. 

Brunton also has had his fair share of elections, having run against both Kansen Chu and Alex Lee in the past. He states that if he were to become Assemblymember, he would “Reform for a better today, and restructure for the best tomorrows.”

When asked about his thoughts on the Primary, Brunton states, “I did finish in the top two, and I’m glad for that, but the real campaign is starting now.” He also states that he has a holistic view of things, is focused on outcomes, and is looking toward the future. 

Brunton has a few main issues he wants to focus on, including education, mass transit, civil justice, housing affordability, and the environment. 

When it comes to education, Brunton states, “It’s very clear to me that we’re not getting our money’s worth” and “We have too many students not succeeding.” He hopes to restructure the entire California education system. The primary reason is: “We have a thousand districts” and “they don’t work well together.” Therefore, he wants to find a way to get our state education districts to cooperate better. He also plans to put student learning at the forefront, as well as expand what students are learning, including subjects such as music, financial literacy, and nutrition. 

He also believes in high-quality education regardless of where someone lives or their parents’ income. He advocates for a system such as the one in MUSD, in which if one works in the school district, they may apply for their children to go to school in the district even if their family doesn’t live in the area. 

He has similar ideas for mass transit. He states, “We have 25 agencies in the Bay Area and they don’t work well together.” He goes on to say that only two of those agencies have elected boards, none of which are in Santa Clara County. “This is going to be very controversial,” he says. “Mass transit right now is organized for the benefit of the agencies. The way it should be organized is for the rider.” He says that he wants to work toward good, viable mass transit in the Bay Area.

He also advocates for expanding the civil court system and making it fairer and more cost-effective. One of his plans is to provide Public Defenders for low and middle-income people as well as small businesses. Overall he advocates for small claims court reforms that will allow the system to better settle disputes.

He also wants to expand Proposition 13 to homeowners. He advocates for longtime owners of single-family homes to move anywhere in California while being able to keep their low tax bracket on the home. Through this, he hopes to free up housing for new families and allow additional income for seniors who sell their properties. 

To tackle homelessness, Brunton hopes to set up temporary housing to find out the “why” of individual homeless situations: whether it’s mental health, drug addiction, education, or job training. He also states that he doesn’t believe in low-income housing projects. He says, “I think that’s wrong; I think there’s a stigma there that’s not right and only puts a band-aid on the problem.”

When it comes to the environment, Brunton wants to focus on things he believes can be controlled, including recycling, especially for repairable electronics. He also states that he agrees with the high environmental standards in California, and suggests a sales tax break for manufacturers to help with environmental costs. He also wants to be tougher on other countries in regards to the environment and wants to look into different forms of energy, including the possibility of nuclear power sources. 

Locally, Brunton states that he hopes to do a project for each city he hopes to represent in the district — including Milpitas. His plans include creating funding for a Milpitas Performing Arts Center and Black History Museum, as well as working to create redevelopment agencies to improve things such as infrastructure, traffic, and other issues he sees in the city.

Brunton describes himself as “a complicated candidate” for Assemblymember. In this election, he says that he is “asking this district to give me a chance.” He’ll be up against incumbent Alex Lee on this November’s ballot. 

To learn more about Bob Brunton, as well as get updates on his campaign, go to https://votebobbruntonforassembly.com

Maria Denise Cuenca
Maria Denise Cuenca is a Senior at Milpitas Middle College High School. As part of the inaugural class, she’s the editor for the student newspaper, the Stepping Stone, and works concurrently as the President of the school’s She’s the First Chapter, an organization that supports girl-centered programs throughout the world. As a writer for the Milpitas Beat, she has the opportunity to write about issues relating to homelessness, local politics, and women’s rights. For over a year, she’s been a proud intern for Camp ButterFLY, where she organizes meetings, designs flyers, and does marketing for the organization to further their mission of teaching women to be leaders and find a path towards a career. During her free time, she enjoys watching shows on Netflix and reading the news.


  1. Mr. Brunton is a nice guy, but I have to wonder why he is still a member of the Republican Party — a party that has no political platform other than doing what Trump wants. The Party does have values that are expressed in legislation they support: no restrictions on assault weapons, huge restrictions on pregnant women, cutting Social Security benefits, increasing pollution, cutting taxes for the billionaires and huge corporations, denying our Climate Crisis (the only political party in the world to do so), and suppressing voter rights. Oh, and using the filibuster to stop the 200 pieces of legislation the Democrats want to accomplish.
    We have 3 major political groups in our country: Republicans, corporate Democrats, and progressive Democrats. Alex Lee is a progressive who co-sponsored a bill to provide universal health care for all residents of California (which was stopped by corporate Dems). That is the kind of big, bold change we need. (Find other legislation he supports at https://a25.asmdc.org/2022-legislation.) Mr. Brunton’s proposals just nibble around the edges of our corrupt systems without fundamentally changing the status quo. In a time of Climate Crisis, unaffordable housing, heavy college debt, and medical bankruptcies (unknown in all other developed countries), we need representatives like Alex Lee. Join me in supporting Alex at https://www.votealexlee.com/

  2. Bob Brunton agrees with what California has done to protect women’s rights. You can check his website at bobbruntonforassembly.com. Also, you can call him and ask him about your political concerns; then you will understand why he calls himself the common sense republican. That is why I did which led to give him my vote.

  3. It’s too bad that candidates are judged by their party affiliation rather than their proposals. Mr. Brunton has a common sense approach sorely lacking in most California politicians. One party rule in California has created policies that are driving Californians out at an unprecedented rate.

  4. I agree that it is “too bad that candidates are judged by their party affiliation rather than their proposals.” Most people are so busy that they use short-hand tricks to help them navigate life. Some of them use party affiliation, so it is unfortunate that Bob has aligned himself with the Republican Party now rather than in 1855 – 1875 when it was progressive. Perhaps he could do as Bob Nuñez does, and call himself a “Lincoln Republican” — which eased my concerns about Bob’s (surprising) party affiliation.
    Given that our Climate Crisis is our #1 issue, I note that Bob recommends little beyond the minimum mandated by the state based on years-old data. “When it comes to the environment, Brunton wants to focus on … repairable electronics.” While I agree that most every consumer project should be repairable, that is a weak solution to our need to reduce – and sequester – carbon. In Milpitas, 59% of our carbon emissions come from the transportation sector.
    “He also … suggests a sales tax break for manufacturers to help with environmental costs.” Excuse me, but I learned early in life to clean up my messes. If a company is generating harmful waste products, they need to pay some sort of pollution penalty. They, not We the People.
    “Mass transit right now is organized for the benefit of the agencies. The way it should be organized is for the rider.” I would phrase it as service level to the riders. We just have different ways of accomplishing that goal. And here is what really puzzles me. Bob has known about the Milpitas PRT project for years, but has chosen to ignore it. Why? If he really wants better transit service, he won’t find much to compete with PRT. As a fiscal conservative, he (like me) must chaff at the notion that 85% of each bus ride is paid for by We the People rather than the rider who pays just $2.50. Based on numbers at MilpitasPRT.com, it appears that a PRT system will not lose 85 cents on every dollar of revenue, it will actually make a profit.
    If Mr. Brunton were to become Assemblymember, he would “Reform for a better today, and restructure for the best tomorrows.” While that sounds good on the surface, it sounds to me like a delaying tactic. (Big Oil has gone from Climate denial and distraction to delay, so I am sensitive to its prevalence.) Reform of existing systems was reasonable 20-30 years ago, but in the face of accelerating crises, we need major restructuring now! As climate authority Bill McKibben says, “Winning slowly is losing.” This Republican mindset of delay may be the reason that Bob has not written to support the Milpitas PRT project. His progressive, Democratic opponent – Alex Lee – has written a very supportive letter. See what he has to say at https://milpitasprt.com/wp-content/uploads/support_letter_Lee.pdf After reading his letter, ask yourself if you want Alex representing you in the state legislature. My answer is a definite YES.


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