February 21, 2024

Six candidates are vying for the state Senate seat at the moment held by Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat who will time period out in 2024.

Skinner has represented 847,000 residents in Contra Costa and Alameda counties alongside the I-880 hall, together with Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and Alameda, since 2016. She constructed a popularity as a dependable progressive and advocate for housing, incomes endorsements from unions representing service staff and the builders and tradesmen.

However now the help of these two main labor teams is cut up between two District 7 candidates who’ve emerged as doable frontrunners within the race: Kathryn Lybarger, president of the California Labor Federation, who has pulled help from service employee unions, and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, with allies within the trades who would stand to profit from his pro-housing agenda. The 2 candidates have raised more cash than any of the opposite 4.

Uber has entered the race too, spending over $800,000 to oppose Lybarger, together with not less than $750,000 on tv adverts. Uber has additionally dropped not less than $250,000 on tv adverts in help of Arreguín, bringing the entire they’ve put into the race to greater than $1 million.

The district, beforehand District 9, was renumbered for the 2024 election. The 2 prime candidates within the March major, no matter occasion affiliation, will advance to the November basic election.

The candidates

Democrat Kathryn Lybarger, President of the California Labor Federation

Lybarger is a longtime labor chief however first-time candidate for public workplace. Lybarger, 56, lives in Berkeley and has served as president of the two.1 million-member California Labor Federation since 2015. She additionally works as a lead gardener at UC Berkeley and is the speedy past-president of Native 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Staff (AFSCME), representing 30,000 College of California staff.

As a state senator, she would champion working folks, she stated, pushing for extra career- and technical-education packages, higher wages and extra inexpensive housing.

“I do know what working persons are going by and the way exhausting they struggle to get by,” she stated.

Lybarger has acquired endorsements from the California Labor Federation, California Environmental Voters, and Equality California, an LGBT group.

On prime of the greater than $484,000 Lybarger’s personal committee has raised, a PAC sponsored by her union has additionally spent not less than $1.9 million, totally on tv adverts, making her the candidate with essentially the most cash behind her within the race.

Democrat Jesse Arreguín, Berkeley Mayor

At 39, Arreguín is coming into his second decade in public workplace. He was elected to Berkeley’s Hire Stabilization Board at 20, Metropolis Council at 24 and mayor at 32. He has held that seat for the final seven years, main the town by protests following Donald Trump’s election as president, the coronavirus pandemic, and, extra lately, a fraught battle over the way forward for Folks’s Park.

Throughout his time as mayor, he’s modified his authentic anti-development stance to turn out to be a vocal supporter of accelerating residential growth. He helped to push ahead a serious housing growth that may rework the Ashby and North Berkeley BART stations, and has backed scholar housing at Folks’s Park (in contrast to Lybarger and Beckles).

That has earned him endorsements from pro-housing teams, like California YIMBY and the State Constructing & Development Trades Council, in addition to East Bay Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, former chair of the Housing Committee. Arreguín can be the highest fundraiser within the major, with greater than $637,000 in donations, lots of them coming from commerce unions.

“Housing is a my primary challenge,” Arreguín stated. “If we don’t have considerable housing, that’s going to gas the displacement that’s taking place in my metropolis.”

Democrat Dan Kalb, Oakland Metropolis Councilmember

Kalb, 64, was elected to the Oakland Metropolis Council in 2012, on an environmental and social-justice platform. As a council member, he has written laws to ban ghost weapons and divest metropolis funds from fossil gas firms. He stated his years as a coverage advocate, lobbying on behalf of environmental teams in Sacramento, equip him to writer impactful state-level laws.

“Being a state legislator is just not a high-profile place,” he stated. “The true work in being efficient is within the intricate, typically behind-the-scenes work in complicated coverage — and that’s the work that I’m superb at.”

Kalb has raised greater than $321,000, incomes endorsements from Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and California Environmental Voters, amongst others.

Democratic Socialist Jovanka Beckles, AC Transit Board Member

Beckles served as a progressive metropolis council member in Richmond from 2011 to 2018, supporting a lease management ordinance and will increase to the minimal wage, in addition to introducing and passing a “Ban the Field” ordinance to fight discrimination in opposition to previously incarcerated folks.

After shedding a race for California State Meeting in 2018 to Buffy Wicks, she ran for a seat on the AC Transit Board in 2020, which she has held since.

Beckles says she would use her platform to “struggle company greed” and additional staff’ rights.

Democrat Sandré Swanson, Former California Assemblymember