A newcomer unseated an incumbent Tuesday night in the highly contested race for San Mateo County Harbor Commission.
Six candidates — a mix of newcomers — some as new as just 18 years old — and incumbents were competing for three seats.
Incumbents Leo Padreddii and Pietro Paravanno retained their seats on the board while incumbent Will Holsinger, appointed to the Commission earlier this year to fill a vacancy, lost his seat to newcomer Sabrina Brennan.
Moss Beach resident Brennan captured nearly a quarter of the votes. She is the owner and founder of an architectural signage media company. She serves on numerous local committees such as the California Coastal Trail Committee, the Harbor District Coastal Trail Committee, the Midcoast Parks and Recreation Committee, the Coastside Bicycle Coalition, and the Midcoast Community Council, among others. Brennan's website says she grew up along the Gulf Coast in New Orleans, and was inspired to run for the Commission after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010.
Incumbent Padreddii captured the second highest number of votes - 71,714. Padreddi is the Commission's current vice-president. He has also served as the mayor, a planning commissioner and a city councilmember for the City of South San Francisco. He also has experience with the FBI, the CHP and in alcoholic beverage investigations.
And incumbent Pietro Paravanno, the current secretary and past president of the Commission, took the third seat on the board. He has served with the Pew National Ocean Commission, the California Sea Grant Advisory Board, and the Roots of Change Council. He was also a founding member of the San Mateo County Food Alliance. Paravanno has received numerous awards for his advocacy of sustainable fishing practices.
Holsinger finished a close fourth place with more than 64,000 votes. He has been practicing law in San Mateo County since 1979, serving as personal legal counsel to individuals, professionals and businesses and as a Judge Pro Tem and arbitrator for the San Mateo County Courts. He grew up sailing. Holsinger is a hospice volunteer, and is currently serving on the board of directors for Project Ninety, a drug and alcohol treatment program in San Mateo County.
Candidate Neil Merrilees has been a Parks Commissioner for San Mateo County, has served on the Midcoast Community Council, and helped build Moss Beach Park in 2004. He is the owner of Accessible Design and Construction, which specializes in making homes and businesses accessible to all people.
Brandon Kwan, an 18-year-old Moss Beach resident who recently said, at a question and answer session for the six candidates, that he was inspired to run for the Commission after his boss, a boat broker, had trouble dealing with the Oyster Point officials. Kwan said he wanted to focus on harbor debt and making the harbor more accomodating for tenants, fishermen and business owners.
468 of 468 Precincts Reporting Votes Percentage Will Holsinger (incumbent) 62,248 17.53% Brandon Kwan 22,212 6.25% Leo Padreddii (incumbent) 71,714 20.19% Pietro Paravanno (incumbent) 66,495 18.72% Sabrina Brennan 87,079 24.52% Neil Merrilees 44,391 12.78%