Measure R, which provides a blueprint for more density in downtown Berkeley, won in a landslide, 64 percent to 36 percent. However, Berkeley Councilmen Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington, who both opposed the measure, appear headed to victory. In fact, Arreguin strongly campaigned against Measure R.
Yet in the District 4 council race, which represents downtown, Arreguin has a commanding lead, garnering 53 percent of the vote with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Challenger Jim Novosel, an ardent supporter of Measure R, is second with 32 percent, followed by challenger Bernt Wahl with 10 percent. Although there are still plenty of late absentee and provisional ballots to count, Arreguin’s lead appears to be insurmountable.
In the District 7 council race, Worthington leads with 50 percent, followed by challengers George Beier with 36 percent and Ces Rosales with 14 percent. And even though this is also a ranked-choice race, it appears highly unlikely that Beier can overcome Worthington’s big lead.
Arreguin and Worthington’s probable victories, along with easy wins last night by Councilmembers Linda Maio and Gordon Wozniak, result in the Berkeley City Council still having a 7-2 split on downtown density, with Arreguin and Worthington in opposition.