Skinner Wins Democratic Primary for District 14 Assembly Seat

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Nancy Skinner, an East Bay Regional Park District Board member and former Berkeley City Council member, won the Democratic primary for the California District 14 assembly seat yesterday.

Skinner, who has 51.59 percent of the vote in Contra Costa County and 46.53 percent in Alameda County as of 12:30 a.m., said she is extremely pleased with the results.

Though the election against three other candidates was technically a primary, the seat is solidly Democratic and Skinner will almost certainly win the general election in November.

"I just feel incredibly honored that the people in Assembly District 14 really, really resounded with the messages we were communicating and those messages were that this state deserves better, we love our schools and we used to be top in education and we can be again," Skinner said.

As a City Council member, Skinner helped create the non-profit ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, an organization that helps cities across the country tackle environmental issues.

More recently, Skinner brought chief executive officers from Fortune 500 companies to meet with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an effort to help pass the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

As assembly member, Skinner said she would like to make improvements toward health care, the environment and education.

"No child should feel like there isn't an opportunity or a path for success for them in school ... we need to recommit ourselves to our schools," she said.

Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who also ran for the seat, said that, although he was disappointed by the results, he was not surprised.

"The day that Nancy Skinner got in the race, I knew that the entire dynamics of the race had changed and we went from being the favorite to being a gigantic underdog," he said. "This is not the most shocking news in the world. You know, it's pretty sad."

Alex Krasov, a campaign consultant for Richmond City Councilmember Tony Thurmond, said part of the reason why Thurmond lost was low voter turnout.

"We're struggling with low turnout, it's a split primary and it's been an uphill battle, but we've gotten a tremendous response," she said. "There is so much energy and enthusiasm about Tony (Thurmond)."

As of 12:30 a.m., in Contra Costa County, Worthington has 9.45 percent while Thurmond has 25.56 percent and assembly candidate Phil Polakoff has 13.07 percent. In Alameda County, Worthington is currently in second with 23.24 percent, Thurmond has 16.92 percent and Polakoff has 12.69 percent.

While much of her time has been devoted to campaigning efforts, Skinner said she plans to begin work in the assembly immediately.

"We worked hard these last months, but the real work will begin and it begins now," she said.


Tamara Bartlett is the managing editor. Contact her and Anna Widdowson at [email protected]

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