District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson’s surprise decision to not run for reelection prompts flurry of candidates

"It's been an incredible 30+ years serving you," wrote Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson in a social media post to his 5th District constituents this week, announcing his decision not to run for another term on the board. (Alameda County Board of Supervisors via Bay City News)

(Editor’s note: This article was updated on Dec. 18 to correct Lorrel Plimier’s connection to the League of Women Voters — she is the recent past president and resigned her board position the day she withdrew papers for this race. On Dec. 15 Chris Moore shared his candidate website, linked below.)

Longtime Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson will not run again for his seat in 2024. Carson announced his decision Dec. 8, the day of the filing deadline for candidates who might have challenged him, triggering an automatic extension of five days.

“After much reflection, I’ve decided not to seek reelection in 2024 as your County Supervisor,” Carson said in a statement that day on social media. “It’s been an incredible 30+ years serving you, and I’m grateful for your trust. Time for a new chapter with fresh ideas. Thank you for your unwavering support and passion for our community! Excited for Alameda County’s future,” Carson said.

Carson, a Berkeley native, represents District 5, which includes Piedmont, Albany, Berkeley, and portions of north and west Oakland. He was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1992.

As of Friday, nine candidates have indicated their interest in Carson’s seat.

Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett, who has a long political pedigree there, serves on the city’s transportation and planning commissions, as well as Berkeley’s zero waste commission and its loan advisory board.

Oakland City Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas is also hoping to move from the Oakland City Council to the Board of Supervisors. She was elected president of the council in 2021 and says on her campaign website that as supervisor she will focus on the “three H’s: Homelessness, Housing, Heathcare.”

Former Emeryville Mayor and current City Councilmember John Bauters has also thrown his hat in the ring. He is the chair of the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

Alameda County Board of Education trustee Ken Berrick has also filed his candidacy. He is the president of Just Advocates, a nonprofit that connects children and families with supportive services.

Omar Farmer is running and has served in various positions throughout Alameda County, from his current position as a member of the Oakland Safety and Services Oversight Commission to being an advisory board member of Oakland’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. He is also a member of the county’s Veterans Affairs Commission. Former Oakland Unified School District board member and one-time candidate for Oakland mayor Gregory Hodge will be on the ballot as well. Hodge is a consultant who works with nonprofits.

Candidate Chris Moore is the president of an investment and consulting firm that assists tech startups, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is a board member of the East Bay Rental Housing Association and has been vocal about issues affecting landlords and property owners.

Gerald Pechenuk filed his candidacy, though there is not very much information about him other than he was a volunteer election observer in 2022 and is currently suing Carson and the county. According to his profile on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Pechenuk appears to be a LaRouchePAC advocate, which is a far-right political action committee named for the late Lyndon LaRouche, a former U.S. presidential candidate who served five years in prison for fraud.

Finally, the recent past president of the Piedmont League of Women Voters and former state LWV board member Lorrel Plimier is running. According to LinkedIn, she co-founded an organization that helps nonprofits achieve their technological potential. She is an attorney and a data scientist.

Many candidates have registered a domain for their candidacies, but only Bas has created a site so far, at www.nikki4supervisor.com. (On Dec. 15 Chris Moore shared a link to his candidate website HERE .)

In a longer public statement on his office’s website, Carson said that he had begun the process to run again but decided against it after more consideration, prayer, and consultation with his family.

“This decision was not made lightly, but I believe it is the right time for a new chapter for both myself and the district. While I am physically ready for another term, I believe it is time for new energy that reflects the evolving needs of District 5,” the statement said.

One thought on “District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson’s surprise decision to not run for reelection prompts flurry of candidates

  1. The regrettable retirement of Supervisor Carson, and the recent deaths of Supervisors Wilma Chan and Richard Valle will leave the Board bereft of any strong animal advocates. Here’s hoping Mr. Carson’s replacement will help fill that void.

    Thank you, Mr. Carson, for your efforts over these many years. You will be missed.

    Eric Mills, coordinator

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