News & Opinion » Election 2012

Berkeley at a Crossroads

Why the mayor's race, two council contests, and several ballot measures will shape the city's future.

by

15 comments

Page 5 of 5

Worthington and McCormick also have had no citywide electoral success. In 2008, Skinner trounced Worthington in the Assembly race, and Skinner now backs Bates for mayor. As for McCormick, she could do no better than finish third in a 2010 city council race, and was beaten soundly by incumbent Gordon Wozniak — another Bates supporter. Bates, meanwhile, has won numerous citywide elections over the past decade — both for mayor and state Assembly.

A wild card on the November ballot, however, is Measure S. The controversial measure would ban sitting on sidewalks in Berkeley's commercial districts, and many local progressives strongly oppose it — as does Worthington. And McCormick's opposition to Measure S might convince supporters of Worthington to select her as their second choice rather than Bates, who is in favor of the measure.

The North Berkeley council race, meanwhile, could be close. In 2008, Capitelli defeated Hahn, 52.4 percent to 47.5 percent, in the District 5 contest. Over the years, though, Capitelli has gained a reputation for being a well-liked councilman while Hahn has never held elective office.

District 2, which encompasses parts of West and South Berkeley, is harder to handicap. In 2008, Moore won by a landslide, garnering a whopping 82 percent of the vote. This year is different, however, because of Measure T. The measure has stirred a heated debate in West Berkeley, and both of Moore's challengers oppose it.

The only other contested council race involves incumbent Max Anderson in District 3, South Berkeley, against challenger Dmitri Belser, who has been endorsed by Bates and other pro-growth elected officials. However, Anderson, unlike Worthington, sometimes votes with the council majority on development issues. He voted for the downtown plan, for example. And so it's unclear whether this race will impact the balance of power in Berkeley, and thus, the city's future.

Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment
 

Add a comment