Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín releases local, state election endorsements

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Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín announced his first-preference endorsements for the Berkeley City Council elections, recommending Igor Tregub for District 1, Councilmember Kate Harrison for District 4 and Rigel Robinson for District 7, but Arreguín did not endorse any candidate for District 8.

Arreguín’s ballot recommendations also feature endorsements of other candidates, including candidates running for California governor, lieutenant governor, the U.S. Senate and the U.S House of Representatives. In local races, Arreguín endorsed candidates for the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board and the Berkeley Unified School District board, along with the City Council candidates.

Arreguín mentioned that he based his endorsement decisions on several factors, including the relationships that he has built with certain candidates during his time as a community leader.

For the City Council District 1 seat, Arreguín named Tregub as his first-choice candidate and Margo Schueler as his second choice for the position.

“I am deeply honored to earn his endorsement,” Tregub said. “What is more meaningful to me is having the support of my neighbors.”

Arreguín recommended Harrison, the incumbent, for the City Council District 4 seat, which Harrison said speaks to their shared “statement of principles.”

For the City Council District 7 seat, Arreguín endorsed Robinson, whose campaign platform includes representing students in city government.

Arreguín refrained from endorsing any candidate for the City Council District 8 seat, stating that he did not feel comfortable endorsing Councilmember Lori Droste, who is the incumbent, or her opponents.

Droste could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Mary Kay Lacey, a candidate for the District 8 seat, stated in an email that she is “proud” to have the endorsement of “progressive organizations” that previously endorsed Arreguín in the 2016 mayoral election.

“I think (Arreguín)  probably sees something he likes in each of our campaigns — that makes a lot of sense,” said District 8 candidate Alfred Twu. “There are things that I agree with Arreguín, and there are things that I differ with (Arreguín).”

Eight candidates are vying for five open seats on the city’s Rent Stabilization Board. For this race, Arreguín endorsed candidates James Chang, Soli Alpert, Paola Laverde, María Poblet and John Selawsky.

Chang said that with Arreguín’s endorsement, he hopes to be able to continue advocating for those struggling with rising rent prices. Candidate David Buchanan, who was not endorsed, claimed that Arreguín never considered him as a top candidate because Buchanan is not a “pro-tenant” candidate.

For the BUSD board race, Arreguín named Ty Alper, Julie Sinai and Ka’Dijah Brown as his recommendations. The school board race consists of six candidates competing for three open seats.

Sinai said she wishes to establish a strong relationship between the school board and City Council, and she appreciates that Arreguín takes recommendations for the school board “seriously.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of questions for who to support —  it’s a long ballot,” Arreguín said. “I wanted to send out my advice.”

Contact Clara Rodas at [email protected]/a> and follow her on Twitter at @ClaraRodas10.