by Cy Musiker
With the election less than two weeks away, we’re diving into local races. On Tuesday we highlighted San Francisco, and now we’re focusing on Berkeley, where the politics are always passionate.
Incumbent Mayor Tom Bates is running against five challengers. There’s also a no-sitting measure on the ballot and a plan to allow more commercial development in West Berkeley.
Frances Dinkelspiel is a co-founder of the website Berkeleyside, one of our KQED News associates. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview Thursday:
CY MUSIKER: Tom Bates is one of the most familiar faces in Bay Area politics. He’s been mayor since 2002, and before that he was in the state legislature. Tell us about his opposition.
BERKELEYSIDE’S FRANCES DINKELSPIEL: Bates is facing five challengers, only one of whom has any significant political experience.
His strongest challenger, probably, is Kriss Worthington, who’s sat on the city council for 16 years and is in many ways Bates’ nemesis. He’s much more progressive than Bates and often leads the pack that is in opposition to Bates’ slate on the council.
The second strongest contender is a woman named Jacquelyn McCormick. She doesn’t have a lot of experience, but she’s pounding Mayor Bates over the city’s fiscal situation.