Elizabeth Echols wins East Bay parks director race

Having secured 65% of the votes cast so far in Alameda County and 56% in Contra Costa County, incumbent Elizabeth Echols appears to have won the race for director of East Bay Regional Park Board Ward 1, which includes Berkeley. Her opponent, Norman La Force, received 34% of the votes cast in Alameda County and 43% in Contra Costa County.

Echols was appointed to the park board in January after former director Whitney Dotson retired. La Force was also in that pool of potential appointees, he told Berkeleyside.

Berkeley residents voted alongside the other members of Ward 1, which stretches from Berkeley in the south to Pinole and El Sobrante in the north. By election night, there were 35,431 votes cast in the park board race in Alameda County, with 51 votes for write-in candidates. Echols received 23,167 votes; La Force received 12,213. In Contra Costa County, Echols got 28,829 votes; La Force got 23,084.

The lead is commanding enough that Echols should retain it even though the registrar of voters office has not finished counting all the ballots. The next update is expected Thursday.

EBRPD is the largest regional park system in the country and includes parks like Tilden and Point Isabel.

Update, 10 p.m. The vote totals for Contra Costa County were added after publication.