Ken Carlson candidate for Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 4. (Photo courtesy of Ken Carlson)

The race to represent District 4 on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will carry into the November general election, but which two candidates will be facing each other remains unclear as election officials continue to count ballots.

With 30,000 votes tallied, Pleasant Hill Councilman Ken Carlson is the early frontrunner, having picked up 27% of the votes Tuesday night. But he’s followed closely by BART Director Debora Allen, who got 25.6%, and Concord Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer, with 24.1%.

There are still plenty of votes to be counted, however. Deputy Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong estimated that 70,000 new mail ballots and 25,000 ballots from polling places arrived during election night. How many of those ballots are strictly for the District 4 race isn’t known.

The winner will replace retiring Supervisor Karen Mitchoff to represent a district that includes Concord, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.

Carlson, a retired police officer, won support and contributions from law enforcement groups as well as individual donors. He’s portraying himself as a moderate who would reach across the aisle to work with other supervisors.

Ken Carlson candidate for Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 4. (Photo courtesy of Ken Carlson) 

“I’m kind of in the middle, and I’m very thoughtful of having a balance,” he said.

There are stark contrasts between Allen and Obringer’s campaigns. As a BART board director, Allen has proposed that the agency cut jobs and slash spending, putting her at odds with six of her nine fellow board members. In an earlier interview, she criticized what she sees as the “labor unions’ control over BART.”

Obringer, on the other hand, received major campaign contributions from a wide range of unions. She voted with the Concord City Council to end ties with a former master developer of the Concord Naval Weapons Station — where the city wants to build 13,000 new homes — over its refusal to hire local union labor.

More recently, she voted against giving the project’s current tentative developer a time extension over concerns it would waffle on a promise to provide affordable housing.

In statements, the two candidates expressed optimism for their chances ahead of a final vote count.

Another Concord council member, Edi Birsan, fell far behind the top three by the end of election night with only 9% of the vote. The small businessman is well known in Concord, having …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Ken Carlson leads Contra Costa supervisor race, but too close to say who’ll be in runoff election

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