For the first time since 1992, District 2 in Alameda County will be represented by a new supervisor early next year -- but just who that new supervisor will be won't be decided until Nov. 2.

Former state Sen. Liz Figueroa and current Alameda County Family Justice Center Executive Director Nadia Lockyer -- the two top vote-getters in June's primary -- are in the midst of a battle for the seat held by longtime Supervisor Gail Steele.

Steele is retiring after more than 26 years in public office. She has represented District 2 -- which includes Hayward, Newark, Union City, parts of Fremont and Sunol -- for the last 18 years.

In June, Lockyer received the most votes among a field of four candidates -- garnering more than 38 percent of the vote. Figueroa nudged out Union City Mayor Mark Green by 106 votes to take second place, with 24 percent of the vote.

Since no candidate in the race received a majority of the vote, the two very different candidates now must face off in this fall's election.

One of the biggest differences in the race may be experience.

Figueroa, who has had a lengthy career in politics, including spending 12 years in Sacramento, has touted her resume from the start. She said those experiences make her qualified to sit on the board and gives her the know-how to makes things move in government.

"I know how to balance a budget and what it will take to revitalize our economy," Figueroa said.

"I have the experience and common sense to get to work on the first day making Alameda County economically viable once again."

The county has had severe budget crunches in recent years, including in June closing a $152.4 million funding gap to balance its $2.44 billion 2010-11 budget.

Lockyer, by contrast, only has been elected to a school board.

However, she said her time running the county's Family Justice Center has given her an insight into county government.

"I implemented solutions that saved taxpayer dollars and improved services," Lockyer said. "Increasing efficiency will help balance the budget."

Another difference between the two candidates is their ability to fundraise for their campaigns.

While Figueroa has raised almost $74,000 since last year for her campaign, Lockyer has blown her out of the water.

According to campaign disclosure statements filed earlier this month, Lockyer already has raised nearly $1.38 million.

According to that filing, Lockyer's husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, has donated nearly $1.1 million from his campaign fund to his wife's campaign.

Steele was re-elected to the District 2 seat in 2006 after raising what now seems like a paltry $44,426 for her campaign that year.

Both Figueroa and Lockyer, however, do seem to agree on many of the issues facing the county. Both list job creation as one of their top concerns.

"Alameda County has the resources to be a green industry and bio-tech business center," Lockyer said. "We must attract businesses and create high-paying jobs."

Figueroa said her previous time in government should help her be able to attract more jobs to the county.

Figueroa and Lockyer also list health care and public safety -- making sure residents have access to vital programs and services to help build and strengthen safe, healthy communities.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the political gamesmanship between the two candidates has died down since June's primary.

Earlier in the race, Lockyer's camp challenged Figueroa's job description on the voting ballot first -- something Figueroa eventually changed -- then brought to light back taxes Figueroa owed. Lockyer also questioned Figueroa's true residency.

Figueroa has admitted owing the taxes but said she is paying them, and also said she owns property and rents a small cottage in Sunol.

Alameda County Supervisor candidates, District 2
Liz Figueroa
Age: 59
Occupation: Unemployment case worker
City of
residence: Sunol, 11 years
Family: Two adult children
Education: Attended College of San Mateo and UC Berkeley
Elected positions held: State senator, 10th District, 1998-2006; Assemblymember, 20th District, 1994-98; Union Sanitary District board, 1988-94.
Party affiliation: Democrat

Nadia Lockyer
Age: 39
Occupation: County manager/attorney
City of
residence: Hayward, 4 years
Family: Married with a son
Education: Graduated from UCLA with a degree in sociology in 1993 and from Loyola Law School in 1996.
Elected positions held: School board member and president, Santa Ana Unified School District, 1998-2002
Party affiliation: Democrat