Countdown to Election Day for downtown Berkeley council rep

Ben Gould (right) and Kate Harrison at the District 4 candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters in January. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Just two more weeks until the deadline for voters hoping to cast a ballot in the race for the new downtown Berkeley City Council rep.

The mail-in election began Feb. 6 and Election Day itself is March 7. Until the seat is filled, there are only eight votes on council, which has already resulted in at least one deadlock.

The two candidates on the ballot are Kate Harrison and Ben Gould. Former district Councilman Jesse Arreguín was elected mayor of the city in November after longtime Mayor Tom Bates stepped down, leaving an open seat until the election takes place.

In addition to Berkeleyside’s coverage of the candidates and race, MapLight — a Berkeley-based nonpartisan research organization — has just launched its Voter’s Edge guide to the special election.


“Both candidates have filled out their profiles with their top three priorities, professional experience, education, community activities, biographies, endorsements, contact information and more,” MapLight told Berkeleyside this week.

Visit Voter’s Edge to learn more.

Harrison has raised nearly $43,000 for her campaign, through Feb. 18, according to financial documents posted on the city website. Updated information for Gould was not immediately available, but he had raised nearly $12,500 at the time of last report, through Jan. 21. (Update: Gould said shortly after publication that he’s raised about $16,000 so far.)

See complete endorsement information for both candidates on their websites, which appear at the bottom of this story. According to a Dec. 8 council item, the special election is set to cost $158,500. Conducting the election by mail reduces the cost by 40%, according to the council item.

Watch the candidates go head to head, in the video below, at the League of Women Voters forum in January. Berkeleyside also covered the event, for those who prefer to see the highlights.


Learn more about Ben Gould and Kate Harrison on their websites. Voters may return their ballot by mail or drop them off in the permanent ballot box in front of 2180 Milvia St. Residents who don’t know which district they are in can use a district locator provided by the city of Berkeley. No postage is necessary to return the ballot.