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Uilkema to retire from Contra Costa supervisors

Contra Costa Supervisor Gayle Uilkema announced this morning she will not seek re-election to a fifth term in 2012 despite numerous statements to the contrary in the past year.

Uilkema has faced several major personal political battles in the past year. She has battled ovarian cancer and her colleagues substantially altered her supervisorial district boundaries under the once-a-decade redistricting process. District 2 now includes most of the San Ramon Valley but she no longer represents Martinez, Pinole and Crockett.

It’s undoubtedly welcome news for only declared challenger in the race, Contra Costa Community College Trustee Tomi Van de Brooke of Orinda. She will no longer face a veteran incumbent.

But an open seat usually attracts a bigger field.

The Deputy Sheriffs Association and District Attorney Mark Peterson say they are going to recruit a candidate, presumably one who will support higher funding for law enforcement.

Here’s Uilkema’s statement:

Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema Announces Retirement

 MARTINEZ, CALIFORNIA, (November 15, 2011)….

Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema of Lafayette has announced that she will be retiring from the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors at the end of her current term of office in January, 2013. Supervisor Uilkema has served on the Board for the past 15 years and has the longest tenure of the current Board Members. Approximately fourteen months remain in her current term of office.

Prior to her election as a Supervisor, Gayle served for 19 years as a Lafayette Council Member and completed four terms as Mayor. She was first elected to the Lafayette City Council in March, 1978.

“I am extremely grateful for the public trust that has been placed in me for such a long time. I would like my constituents to know that they can expect the same diligent representation that my office always provides for the remaining months of my term of office as the Contra Costa Supervisor for District 2.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen