Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Did Chevron Win in Richmond?

Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 10:31 AM

We still aren't sure, because we're still waiting for the final results of the Richmond City Council election and a manufacturing tax that could cost Chevron up to $16 million annually. A spokeswoman for the Contra Costa County Elections Division said her office is still counting thousands of absentee ballots that arrived on or after Election Day, along with provisional ballots. She said to expect an update on the county's website this week, but she added that they don't expect to be done until the week of Thanksgiving. Check back here for updates.

As a reminder, in the city council race, political newcomer Jeff Ritterman, chief cardiologist at Kaiser Richmond, is leading with 10,037, followed by incumbents Nat Bates with 9,631 votes, and Tom Butt with 9,477 votes. In fourth place is challenger Jovanka Beckles with 9,042 votes, followed by incumbent John Marquez with 7,983 votes. The top three vote getters win the election. Ritterman, Butt, and Beckels ran on a get-tough-on-Chevron platform, while Bates and Marquez have been solidly pro Chevron during their long political careers. If at least two of the three -- Butt, Ritterman, and/or Beckles -- finish in the top three, then the oil giant will no longer have a council majority. Also, Measure T, a manufacturing tax that Chevron opposed, is winning by 616 votes. — Robert Gammon

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