Former Pinole City Councilman Stephen Tilton has picked sides in the Nov. 6 City Council race, but he is not endorsing anyone, at least for now.
In an interview with this newspaper this week, Tilton pledged to actively oppose incumbents Peter Murray and Roy Swearingen, saying the "old boys" need to go.
The only other candidate in the three-person race for two seats is Ivette Ricco.
"I'm neutral on her," Tilton said.
A retired small business owner, Ricco has served as Pinole Chamber of Commerce president and as the organization's executive director.
In a news release this week, Ricco said she has the endorsement of community members David Smith, Laurelle Martin, Irma Ruport, David Ruport, George Parsons, Debbie and Joe Ojeda, Tammy Campbell, Julie Maier, Tom Johnstone, Noreen Buller, Donelle Oda, Marina Rossi, Kiki Kaskis, Sheila Grist, Stacey Dillon, Nicole Wilbur and Sal Spataro.
Murray, who works for Contra Costa Electric Inc. in Martinez, is nearing the end of his fifth term on the council. Swearingen, a construction consultant, previously served one council term from 1986 to 1990, but he did not run again until a February 2008 recall election, when he replaced Maria Alegria, who was recalled along with Tilton. Swearingen and Murray were re-elected in November 2008 as Alegria finished third in a three-way race for two seats.
Tilton was elected to the City Council in 2006 and was recalled in 2008. He was
Common Cause will hold a Pinole City Council candidates' debate from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 9 in the City Council chamber.
Alegria, meanwhile, is running for a seat on the BART board, with Tilton's endorsement.
"I think BART needs some new faces," Tilton said.
Alegria's opponents for the BART District 7 seat are Margaret Gordon of Oakland, Zakhary Mallett of El Sobrante and Lynette Sweet of San Francisco, the incumbent.
Tilton praised Alegria as someone "extremely qualified and forward-looking" who "thinks out of the box."
"Dynamic people attract other dynamic people," Tilton said. He pledged to organize a block party and a "huge" fundraiser for Alegria in the fall.
Alegria has not responded to emails seeking comment.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner