Pleasant Hill City Councilmember Ken Carlson is headed to an apparent victory over BART board member Debora Allen in Tuesday’s race for the District 4 seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.
With all precincts reporting just before midnight, Carlson had about 55 percent of the votes cast compared to Allen’s 45 percent. The two candidates were vying to replace retiring Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
Tuesday’s election was a runoff after none of the five candidates in the June primary got more than 50 percent of the vote. Carlson (26.7 percent) and Allen (25.3 percent) were the top vote-getters.
District 4 includes parts of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord and Clayton.
Carlson’s grandfather James Moriarty was a Contra Costa County supervisor. The Pleasant Hill councilmember was a Concord police officer for 29 years, doing everything from patrolling to working on the county’s forensic mental health team.
Carlson has served as Pleasant Hill’s mayor and was the City Council’s first openly gay member. He has said his focus will be on public safety, the housing crisis, economic recovery and fighting climate change.
Allen has been a BART board member since 2016. She said on her campaign site she’s a “common-sense, no-nonsense candidate with a reputation for challenging the status quo” and a “fiscal hawk.”
Carlson’s spot on the Pleasant Hill City Council will likely be taken by Zac Shess, who had a 9-point lead on Zhanna Thompson. Two at-large spots were open on the council, with incumbent Sue Noack seemingly retaining her seat with about 30 percent of the vote. Shess, who had just under 26 percent, is currently serves on the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District board of directors.