Legislative campaigns heating up in Berkeley

hancock.jpgThe Sierra Club today announced its endorsement of Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, in her bid to succeed state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, in representing the 9th State Senate District.

“Turning around global warming, protecting open space, and investing in Clean and Green Technology will ensure that our children and grandchildren have a better future,” Hancock said in her news release. “I am proud to have the Sierra Club’s endorsement and will continue to work with them to protect our environment.”

Among Hancock’s other endorsements are Congressmembers George Miller and Ellen Tauscher, Oakland Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, the California Legislative Black Caucus, and the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council. But remember, Hancock’s candidacy might be cut short if Proposition 93, the term-limits reform measure on the Feb. 5 primary ballot, passes and enables Perata to run for another term. Former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Oakland, is in the race too; see her full endorsement list here. Perata has endorsed them both, and both have said they’ll drop out of the race if Proposition 93 passes.

worthington.jpgMeanwhile, Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington officially kicks off his campaign for Hancock’s 14th Assembly District seat today; he’ll be joined by supporters, elected officials and volunteers from 5 to 7 p.m. at Le Bateau Ivre Restaurant in Berkeley. Worthington issued a release saying he’s excited to start campaigning and is looking forward to the challenge of getting elected to higher office and fighting for universal health care, tackling global warming, and enacting public financing of election campaigns.

“Most of my life has been about taking on big challenges, and overcoming them,” Worthington says. “I spent the first 11 years of my life as a foster child, bouncing around between various foster homes. I also spent time on the streets as a homeless youth. These challenging early life experiences gave me the compassion I have today for those who are less fortunate, left out, and have no one to speak up for them.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.