New: ELECTION 2014 --
How Berkeley Voted: Voters
Favored Thurmond over Echols
in District 15 Assembly Race

Rob Wrenn
Saturday November 22, 2014 - 07:26:00 PM

Berkeley voters voted for Tony Thurmond over Elizabeth Echols by a narrow 51.2% to 48.8% margin in the race for the Assembly seat now occupied by former Berkeley City Council member Nancy Skinner. Skinner was first elected in 2008 and could not run again because of term limits.

Thurmond received 18,200 votes in Berkeley, while Echols got 17,329.

4,649 voters who cast ballots did not vote for anyone in the Assembly race, making up 11.5% of those who voted.

Tony Thurmond won district-wide by a margin of 54% to 46%. Contra Costa County has not yet released its official final results, but current unofficial numbers show Thurmond with a 60.5% to 39.5% lead in that county.

Alameda County released its Statement of Vote for the November 4 election on Friday. The final official results show that Tony Thurmond won in the Alameda County portion of the district by 39,031 to 38,299, or 50.5% to 49.5%. The Statement of Vote includes results by precinct. 

District 15 includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. In Contra Costa County, it includes the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Pinole and Hercules. In Alameda County, it includes Albany, Berkeley, a northern piece of Oakland and Piedmont. Echols carried Piedmont with almost 60% of the vote, but Thurmond won in the other Alameda County cities. In Oakland, he defeated Echols by just 122 votes, 15,157 to 15,035. 

In the June primary election, Elizabeth Echols got 36.5% of the vote in Berkeley, while Thurmond was second with 26.8%. Pamela Price got 13.8% and Sam Kang got 8.2%. Both Kang and Price endorsed Thurmond after the primary. Both Thurmond and Echols are Democrats. 

The Vote by Council District 

In November, Thurmond won a majority in Council districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. Echols came in ahead in districts 5, 6 and 8.  


Assembly District 15 Nov. 4 2014 

Council District 

Votes for Thurmond 

Percent for Thurmond 





















Thurmond's best precincts were in South Berkeley along with one precinct in the LeConte neighborhood between Telegraph and Shattuck. He topped 60% of the vote in 8 precincts in Districts 2 and 3. He also did well with student voters, though student turnout was so low that this did not add many votes to his winning margin. 

Echols did best in the hills above Claremont Ave. and in the Northeast Berkeley hills. She received over 60% of the vote in five precincts in those areas. The vote was relatively close in District 5, won by Echols. Thurmond won four precincts in the district including the precincts immediately north and south of Solano Avenue. 

Echols was endorsed by Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and by City Council members Maio, Moore, Capitelli, Wengraf and Wozniak. She was also the choice of outgoing Assembly member Nancy Skinner and of State Senator Loni Hancock, a former Berkeley mayor. She was also endorsed by the Sierra Club. 

Thurmond was backed by City Council members Anderson, Arreguin and Worthington and by former Berkeley mayors Shirley Dean and Gus Newport. Both candidates had labor backing, with the California Nurses Association and the California Teachers Association backing Thurmond, while the California Federation of Teachers backed Echols. Some unions, including SEIU and the Alameda County Labor Council, endorsed both of them. 


As previously reported, turnout in Berkeley was the lowest in 35 years for a November general election. The Statement of Vote reports that 40,301 votes were cast citywide, amounting to 50.4% of registered voters. This total is a bit higher than what was reported in the unofficial results when the post-election count of absentee and provisional ballots was finished earlier this month.  

Turnout was highest in District 5 and in District 1; it was very low in the newly formed student supermajority district, District 7, where only 1805 votes were cast, which comes to only 21% of registered voters. It was also below 50% in districts 2, 3 and 4 and in District 8 despite a hotly contested City Council race. More about turnout and how Berkeley voted in other races will appear in a subsequent article.