Wozniak Proclaims Victory in District 8 Runoff Election

Kim-Mai Cutler is a contributing writer and Nate Tabak is a staff writer for The Daily Californian.

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Trouncing hopes of UC Berkeley student representation on the City Council, Gordon Wozniak announced victory last night in the District 8 runoff.

Pulling 58.4 percent of the vote, moderate-backed Wozniak beat UC Berkeley graduate student Andy Katz by nearly a 17-point margin, according to last night's tally.

Katz conceded the election to Wozniak in a telephone call last night, which he called "very pleasant," though the City Clerk will not certify the results until Dec. 10. Provisional ballots, which make up the minority of votes cast, have yet to be counted.

Initially a four-way race, neither candidate got the necessary 45 percent of the vote in the November election, sending them into a fierce runoff.

"It was a hard-fought election, but I'm looking forward to representing all the district," Wozniak said.

Katz said the runoff stacked all the cards against him, falling during the Thanksgiving holiday and just prior to UC Berkeley's final examination period.

"My natural base of students and renters were largely away or worrying about finals," he said.

The intense monthlong campaign polarized Wozniak's homeowner supporters and Katz's vocal student backers with a prominent mailed ballot snafu.

Residents throughout the district said they failed to receive ballots in a timely fashion-though the problem was concentrated among Wozniak supporters.

Wozniak's election will make a City Council with a 3-6 moderate minority. A moderate has traditionally held the District 8 seat.

"I think he'll provide a more moderate perspective, but I think he'll be a much nicer person than the previous council member," said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who represents the adjacent District 7.

Wozniak said he wants to unite the district on issues like traffic and public safety, and plans to hold regular meetings with UC Berkeley students. He added that he wants to put students on his staff.

"If he wants to reach out to students, he'll have to rethink his position on tenants and parties on Southside," Katz said.

Katz said he will continue to serve on the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board and work on his master's degree. He would not comment on prospects of another City Council run.


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