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Contra Costa County elections
Updated: May 01, 2015
Photo illustration by Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)
East Bay political veterans say they've never seen anything like the battle between Susan Bonilla and Steve Glazer leading up to the special election for state Senate on May 19. Some voters have already received 40 mailers from backers of both candidates.  
 
City's Fair Campaign Practices Commission workshop focused on a draft charter amendment by League of Women Voters of Berkeley Albany Emeryville and MapLight.  
 
Voters must decide by May 5 if they want to extend the tax for another nine years  
 
District elections are a way to add more diversity to local politics and more fairly represent all residents, but the idea was nixed by the Richmond council, who said it was unnecessary. No cities in Contra Costa County use district elections, although Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro have recently switched.  
 
Certified results of the primary election to fill the District 9 state Senate seat vacated by Mark DeSaulnier show that Orinda Mayor Steven Glazer bested Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla by more than 10,000 votes.  
 
SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD
Endorsement comes after primary in which Bonilla fared poorly in the Tri-Valley region which Swalwell represents in Congress.  
 
RAY CHAVEZ
One day after Orinda Mayor Steven Glazer finished in first in at the primary election to succeed Mark DeSaulnier in the State Senate, second-place finisher Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla got a key endorsement from former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who finished third. The standings are not expected to change, despite about 13,000 ballots left to be counted.  
 
ARIC CRABB
Orinda mayor Glazer finished well ahead of the five-candidate field vying for Mark DeSaulnier's former State Senate seat, while Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla led former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan in a tight battle for second place. The top two finishers will compete in a May runoff election.  
 
Voters in the 7th state Senate District should not let slimy campaign advertising fool them or discourage them from casting their ballots in an important special election Tuesday.  
 
The East Contra Costa Fire District board of directors on Monday agreed to resume the effort to drum up more revenue for the financially beleaguered agency, which had to close one of its Brentwood stations in September. Ballots will be mailed by March 13 and must be returned by April 27.  
 
Vinay Pimple, a 47-year-old local attorney who first ran for office in 2013 when the Richmond City Council was looking to fill another vacancy, was appointed to the council Tuesday night by a four vote majority.  
 
Bonilla, Buchanan, Glazer battle to fill DeSaulnier's vacated seat  
 
Council could decide as early as Tuesday whom to appoint to seat that became vacant when then-Councilman Tom Butt was elected mayor in November  
 
In his first state of the city address, Mayor Tom Butt says priorities include annexing North Richmond, reviving the failing Hilltop mall and continuing the revitalization of the city's historical main street, Macdonald Avenue.  
 
The March 17 special election to succeed Mark DeSaulnier in the 7th Senate district has long been expected to feature Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, and former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, both of whom filed before the deadline Friday.  
 
The candidate filing period is open for folks vying to fill the seventh district State Senate seat vacated by new U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. Gov.  
 
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will swear-in Richmond Mayor-elect Tom Butt and Councilman Jael Myrick at a ceremony Tuesday night in the city's Civic Center Auditorium.  
 
RAY CHAVEZ
Tom Butt, a 70-year-old Arkansas-born architect and longtime councilman, has made a political career staking out strong positions and keeping one step ahead of rivals., and now has assembled a youthful staff and laid out an ambitious agenda for his term in office.  
 
At Contra Costa County Superintendent Karen Sakata's swearing-in ceremony earlier this week, a San Ramon Valley district administrator who is also the city of San Ramon's Poet Laureate, presented an original poem honoring Sakata's new role. The poem referenced the fact that both Sakata and outgoing Superintendent Joseph Ovick are drummers.  
 
SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD
Recently elected Contra Costa County Superintendent Karen Sakata was sworn in Monday by outgoing Superintendent Joseph Ovick, who decided not to seek re-election after serving 18 years. The two have a lot in common -- including a love of taiko drumming.  
 
Many state and local education issues caught readers' attention in 2014, including several in Contra Costa County. Here's a sampling of some significant education stories published in this newspaper over the past year.  
 
After representing Martinez, Concord and surrounding parts of Contra Costa and Solano counties for four decades, Rep. George Miller is saying goodbye to his elected office. He has left an indelible mark on education policy in the nation as one of the original crafters of the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Law (which he admits is flawed) and has also been a strong advocate for charter schools, despite controversy surrounding them.  
 
Catharine Baker widens her leads to 5.2 percent over Tim Sbranti in final results for the 16th District Assembly race.  
 
Big wins across U.S. didn't carry over to California  
 
JIM STEVENS
Assemblymember-elect Catharine Baker, the first Republican the Bay Area has elected to the Legislature or Congress since 2006, will be in Democrats' 2016 cross-hairs.  
 
Chevron not only lost its horribly misguided attempt to buy the Richmond City Council and mayoral races, it lost its credibility with the community -- again.  
 
As of Wednesday evening's final vote count, pending an audit, Lori Droste beat George Beier by a scant 16 votes in a four-candidate race for the Berkeley District 8 City Council seat being vacated by Gordon Wozniak.  
 
ARIC CRABB
Sweeping vote for anti-Chevron candidates leaves three-term Councilman Rogers outside looking in  
 
ANDA CHU/Staff
Resident spearheading the effort learns that he'll have to start over after missing a deadline  
 
Voters nationwide approved $13 billion to fund parks, wildlife and open space measures, including in Silicon Valley, where Measure Q, a parcel tax, won passage, and in the East Bay