As of Wednesday evening, two City Council races were still too close to call pending the inclusion of mail-in ballots. Though incumbent Kriss Worthington and candidate George Beier led in their races for Districts 7 and 8, respectively, the numbers were too close to decisively call the winners.
According to the Alameda County registrar, the results will be updated 5 p.m. Thursday.
District races are conducted by ranked-choice voting, which allows citizens to rank their preferences. After polls close, the votes collected for last-placed candidates are redistributed accordingly.
Worthington maintained a nearly 10 percentage point lead against competitor Sean Barry, a UC Berkeley alumnus and former Daily Californian news editor. But when looking at the vote counts, Worthington led by about 80 votes, a number that could be overtaken if enough mail-in ballots sway the contest toward Barry. About 760 people voted in District 7 on Tuesday.
If re-elected, Worthington would begin his term presiding over new district lines that bound a population of about 86 percent student-aged residents. He has served 18 years on council and said he has appointed more student commissioners and hired more interns than any other City Council member.
In District 8, four candidates competed for the seat left empty by the retirement of incumbent Councilmember Gordon Wozniak. Beier maintained a lead with 50.5 percent of the votes after four rounds of tabulations. Beier garnered 1,267 votes against runner-up Lori Droste’s 1,242 votes.
Beier and Droste came out ahead of Mike Alvarez Cohen, chair of the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board, and Jacquelyn McCormick, head of the Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association.
Beier, who is currently president of the Willard Neighborhood Association, said he hopes to revitalize the Telegraph Avenue area by establishing a blight tax on empty buildings and pushing for affordable housing. Droste, who is currently the chair of the city’s Commission on the Status of Women, would be the first open lesbian to sit on council. She said she would concentrate on providing affordable housing for a wide range of income levels.
District 8 oversees the Clark Kerr Campus, is bounded by Telegraph Avenue to the west and includes a majority of the Elmwood area.