The Daily Californian Online

Berkeley City Council Districts

By Katie Bender, True Shields and Sarah Springfield
Contributing Writers
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Category: News > City > City Government

Jaime Chong/Illustration
Jesse Arreguin

In this year's Berkeley City Council elections, incumbents Linda Maio of District 1, Jesse Arreguin of District 4 and Gordon Wozniak of District 8 managed to retain their council seats. District 7 incumbent Kriss Worthington leads in first-choice votes but does not have the majority needed to win in the first round of ranked-choice voting.

District 1: Linda Maio

Running against opponents with less financial resources and smaller track records, District 1 Berkeley City Councilmember Linda Maio kept her seat and said it was "really not a very difficult campaign."

Each of Maio's opponents - Anthony Di Donato, Jasper Kingeter and Merrilie Mitchell - had never held public office, a fact that proved the deciding factor in the election.

"I didn't have to go out and raise a lot of money and organize a lot of troops," she said. "I don't wait for the campaign to reach out to my constituents - I do it all year, every year."

Maio, confident in her chances since the beginning of the election, swept through the polls to win with 65.58 percent of the vote.

Looking forward, Maio said it will be important in the coming months to deal with basic issues such as homeless services and proper allocation of police forces, while keeping in mind the current economic climate.

"The important thing is what we're going to do as a City Council regarding the financial situation," she said. "I'm glad this election is over because everyone has been distracted by that."

-True Shields

District 4: Jesse Arreguin

Emerging victorious from a contest that pitted candidates with wildly opposite views regarding Measure R and other proposals against each other, incumbent Jesse Arreguin maintained his position on the Berkeley City Council as District 4's representative with 53.37 percent of the vote.

Arreguin shared his campaign headquarters with District 7 incumbent and perennial ally Kriss Worthington.

"It's critical that (Kriss and I) were re-elected because we're minority and we're progressive," he said. "He's my colleague on the City Council and it's important that we support each other."

Among the crowd gathered at Arreguin's campaign headquarters were several members of Berkeley's Rent Stabilization Board, a body that Arreguin said is crucial in the coming term, in light of his plans to further push for stronger rent control.

"I've spoken for independent and progressive leadership and faced impressively funded opposition," he said. "I dreaded this day but I'm ecstatic - it's a surreal victory."

Challenger Jim Novosel did not respond to requests for comment late Tuesday night.

-True Shields

District 7: Kriss Worthington

Incumbent Councilmember Kriss Worthington leads the race for the District 7 Berkeley City Council seat as of press time Tuesday, though final results for the district may not be available until Friday.

With 49.79 percent of the vote, Worthington failed to win the majority, meaning that challenger George Beier, with 35.59 percent of the vote, may still take the seat that Worthington has held for the past 14 years. Ranked-choice voting - new to the city this year - requires a single candidate to gain 50 percent plus one vote to be declared a clear winner.

The race between Beier and Worthington has appeared close for most of the campaign season, with Beier receiving endorsements from most of the seated council in his third try and Worthington frequently calling on strong support in the student and progressive community.

At about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Worthington seemed confident at a viewing party at his campaign headquarters, giving what resembled a victory speech and thanking supporters.

Beier, at a viewing party, also appeared to lose much of the optimism he showed earlier in the evening by about midnight.

But precincts returns just past 1 a.m. have shown the race may not be over.

-Sarah Springfield

District 8: Gordon Wozniak

Incumbent Berkeley City Council member Gordon Wozniak was reelected to represent District 8 Tuesday, defeating runner-up Jacquelyn McCormick 60.52 percent to 20.44 percent.

Candidate Stewart Jones trailed with 18.98 percent, with all precincts reporting.

Despite the victory, Wozniak remained calm and composed throughout the night.

"I'm feeling fine," he said late Tuesday evening when the results were clearly in his favor. "I've got the clear majority. They won't need to do the round two."

His relaxed demeanor did not falter even as he received the overwhelmingly positive election results.

District 8, made up of both students and non-students and encompassing many UC Berkeley fraternities, has been represented by Wozniak for eight years.

In this election, Wozniak has enjoyed strong support from student leaders, such as ASUC President Noah Stern, Berkeley Student Cooperative President Daniel Kronovet and leaders from the campus Greek community.

-Katie Bender

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