Sean Barry, challenger in student-district City Council race, concedes

Worthington-and-Droste
Michael Drummond/File

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Sean Barry, who ran for the City Council seat in the student-concentrated District 7, conceded the race Sunday to incumbent Kriss Worthington.

This will be Worthington’s sixth term on the council. Over the years, his voting history has aligned him with what many consider to be the progressive minority, which now consists of Jesse Arreguin and Max Anderson in addition to Worthington. Barry has said he would have strived to work more with the council majority and bridge a gap between the sometimes divisive City Council.

Barry, a recent UC Berkeley alumnus and former Daily Californian assistant news editor, announced the concession Sunday night after several days of election results that showed Worthington stretching his margin over Barry. By Sunday’s updated results from the Alameda County registrar of voters, Worthington led by 136 votes, or 11.3 percentage points.

“The more votes came in, the clearer it was,” Barry said. “It’s prudent as a candidate that when you see the tides turning to make a clear decision.”

Worthington, who had not been directly informed of Barry’s concession by late Sunday night, said he did not want to comment on the race. He has served on City Council for 18 years.

“I don’t want to jump and make any statement and preempt what he has to say,” Worthington said.

For both candidates, the low voter turnout in the student district came as a surprise and disappointment. With Sunday’s update of mail-in ballots, 1,203 residents had voted in District 7’s race.

In the 2010 City Council race — the last time Worthington’s seat was up for grabs — 4,177 votes were recorded.

“On Tuesday night, there was this question of, ‘Is there a couple hundred more votes to count or a couple thousand?’ ” Barry said on the uncertainty he felt on election night.

Barry said he was unsure about whether he would consider running for City Council in the future but will continue his current job working in communications for Blue Shield of California and serving on the city’s Community Health Commission.

Meanwhile, in District 8, where four candidates vied for the City Council seat, Lori Droste now leads George Beier by a mere 12 votes, or 0.3 percentage points. On Saturday, Beier had led with two votes over Droste.

In elections with more than two candidates, ranked-choice voting works to eliminate candidates and redistribute their votes.

Droste carried the lead with the first three rounds of District 8’s ranked-choice elimination until the fourth round, when more mail-in ballots started trickling in. Since then, Beier’s and Droste’s leads have flipped back and forth.

If elected, Droste would be the first open lesbian to sit on City Council. Beier also identifies as gay.

Barry endorsed Beier’s campaign, while Worthington chose not to endorse any of the four, saying that he has had working relationships with all of them and would work toward accomplishing different goals with whoever wins.

District 8, which covers the Clark Kerr Campus, is bounded by Telegraph Avenue to the west and includes the majority of the Elmwood area. The winner of the race will take the seat of incumbent Gordon Wozniak, who is retiring this year after 12 years on City Council. The registrar of voters has until Dec. 2 to certify election results.

Kimberly Veklerov is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @KVeklerov.