Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dotson beats LaForce in East Bay Regional Park District contest

A pair of environmental activists squared off in the sole competitive race this year for the East Bay Regional Park District board of directors, with Whitney Dotson, a retired public health program director and Richmond community activist, emerging as the victor.

Dotson garnered more than 48,000 votes compared with nearly 37,000 votes for his competitor, lawyer and Sierra Club activist Norman LaForce.

The pair were competing for the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Nancy Skinner, who is running for state Assembly. Ward 1 includes Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, Richmond, San Pablo and parts of Oakland and Pinole.

Dotson, 63, campaigned saying he wanted to build consensus on controversial issues and make the district's 98,000 acres more accessible to people, including the handicapped. He was favored heavily in Contra Costa County.

LaForce, 56, has a long history of prodding and working on East Bay park issues, including shoreline preservation and fire management and grazing policies. LaForce took a slight lead in Alameda County but not enough to sway overall results.

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