Berkeley Couple Attempts Political Office Swap as Bates Announces His Run for Mayor

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On the heels of his wife's successful bid for his old assembly seat, Tom Bates announced Saturday he will challenge incumbant Mayor Dean in November.

The husband of soon-to-be assemblymember Loni Hancock made his decision after receiving overwhelming support from Berkeley progressives. Bates won 87 percent of the 176 ballots cast at the progressive's mayoral convention Saturday.

"I want this city to be on the forefront, not the back," Bates said in his acceptance speech.

Described as the "ideal candidate" by progressive City Councilmember Dona Spring, Bates said he decided only in the last few days to accept the nomination.

Should his run prove successful, he will hold the same seat his wife held for seven years as the city's first female mayor.

Other nominees included Councilmembers Linda Maio and Kriss Worthington. Both declined the nomination and enthusiastically endorsed Bates.

"It is my heartfelt wish that not a single person in this room vote for me as mayor," Worthington said.

Bates will challenge incumbent mayor Shirley Dean this November.


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