Candidates Sign Up for Mayoral, Rent Board, Council Races

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

With the official opening of the filing period Monday, six new candidates have declared interest in running for Berkeley offices. 

Mayor Tom Bates took out nomination papers Monday and formally announced his bid for a third term in office. (The first term was for four years and was followed by a two-year term, designed to place the mayoral election on the ballot with the presidential election.) 

“I am pleased to announce that I am running for re-election as Berkeley’s mayor,” Bates said in a written statement and read, according to his staff, at a press conference on the steps of the civic center building. “In the last few years, working with the people of Berkeley, we have accomplished a great deal. We are recognized as one of the most sustainable and green cities in the country, we have built affordable housing, protected our neighborhoods, enhanced the arts, provided new jobs and safe places for our youth to gather while balancing our budget and receiving the highest bond rating for a city our size.”  

(In a phone interview Monday, Bates told the Planet he regretted not delaying the press conference, given the death the previous day of Councilmember Dona Spring. He said he had to go forward, having already announced the event to supporters and the media.) 

Former mayor Shirley Dean, defeated by Bates in 2002, will challenge Bates for the post, as will former mayoral candidate Zachary Running Wolf. Both have taken out signature-in-lieu papers, which allows them to collect 150 signatures in lieu of paying the $150 filing fee. (Bates took out signature-in-lieu papers on Monday and returned them the same day.) 


City Council 

Jon Crowder, who ran for the District 2 seat in 2000 and for mayor in 1998, has taken out signature-in-lieu papers to run against incumbent Darryl Moore for the District 2 seat.  

No challengers have come forward for the District 3 seat where Max Anderson is the incumbent and has taken out signature-in-lieu papers. 

Incumbent Laurie Capitelli will face Jason Ira Magid who took out signature-in-lieu papers Wednesday to run for the District 5 seat. 

Susan Wengraf, running for the District 6 seat being vacated by retiring Councilmember Betty Olds, has returned her signature-in-lieu documents and has taken out nomination papers for the office. 

The City Council approved an emergency item Tuesday, opening up the District 4 council seat for election. Councilmember Dona Spring, who held the seat since 1993, died Sunday. The new councilmember will fill her term in office, serving for two years. 

The candidate-filing period for District 4 opened Wednesday and closes at the same time other candidate filings close, on Aug. 8. Candidates can collect signatures in lieu of paying the $150 filing fee, but must file them under the same deadline as other candidates—July 24. 

Spring’s seat will remain empty until the new elected officials take office, Dec. 1, 2008. 

On Wednesday L A Wood, videographer, supporter of the tree-sit at the Memorial Stadium oak grove and active on environmental issues, was the first to take out papers to run for the District 4 seat. 


Rent board 

Jane Welford, active in library, open government and peace issues, has joined the increasingly crowded race for Rent Stabilization Board, as has Judy Ann Alberti, a union activist and former Rent Stabilization Board member. 

Other rent board candidates include incumbents Jesse Arreguin, Eleanor Walden and Jack Harrison. Nicole Drake, Judy Shelton and Robert Evans are also running for the five seats available on the board. All rent board candidates have taken out signature-in-lieu papers. 


School board 

School Board president John Selawsky and Beatriz Levya-Cutler have taken out papers to run for the two school board seats. 

Nomination papers for all offices must be returned to the clerk by Aug. 8.