Perhaps journalists have an inflated view of their own popularity. Whatever the reason, the three journalists who ran for office in this months election were defeated. In two races, they lost by big margins.

    • In Berkeley, former Berkeley Daily Planet columnist Zelda Bronstein was trounced by incumbent Tom Bates in the race for mayor. Bates, who four years ago admitted stealing free newspapers containing the endorsement of an opponent, was nonetheless reelected with 62.7 percent of the vote. Bronstein got 31 percent.

    • In Pacific Grove, the editor and publisher of the twice-a-month Home Town Bulletin, Lee Yarborough, came in third in a three-person race for mayor. The winner was Dan Cort with 60.6 percent of the vote. Yarborough got 18.6 percent.

    • The cloest race involving a journalist was in San Benito County, where former Hollister Pinnacle owner Tracie Cone (pictured) came within 81 votes of defeating incumbent Reb Monaco in the race for San Benito County Supervisor, according to the Hollister Free Lance newspaper. Monaco outspent Cone $10,188 to $1,282.

    Cone, 48, quit her job as a Mercury News staff writer in 1999 and bought The Pinnacle in Hollister. She sold it in 2004 to MainStreet Media, which has acquired other nearby papers including the Gilroy Dispatch.

    Today’s Mercury News has a story that prominently features Cone and her efforts to slow development in San Benito County.

SF Press Club News

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