The San Rafael City Council bid farewell to their fellow councilman Marc Levine on Monday, who has a lead of more than 3,000 votes in the race to represent the 10th District in the California State Assembly.
As of Friday, 54,000 votes were yet to be tallied in Marin and Sonoma counties. Since election night, Levine managed to take the lead from his opponent Michael Allen, who outraised and outspent him by nearly a 3-to-1 margin.
Levine was elected to the City Council in November 2009, and has voted on several major local decisions, including Target, the city's agreement with minor league baseball team the San Rafael Pacifics and a moratorium on sober living homes. Although Allen has not yet conceded in the assembly race, council members congratulated Levine on his expected victory.
Council woman Barbara Heller met Levine when they were both campaigning for their seat in 2009. "I had a great time explaining to him how you have to sit up straight, and you have to smile and never get angry," she laughed. "It's been a great pleasure working with you for the last three years, and we know where your office is, so don't think you're rid of us."
Councilman Andrew McCullough began working with Levine this past year after he was elected in the 2011 election. "I feel like I am the beneficiary of some of the teachings you've shared," he said. "I wish you all the best when you get to Sacramento."
Along with the council, the Marin Board of Supervisors recognized Levine as their new assembly representative in their meeting a few weeks ago. If he takes the assembly seat, the council will appoint an applicant to serve in his place
Before running for office, Levine was often seen at the council meetings, usually when there were only two other members of the public attending, Councilman Damon Connolly remembered. "It showed he was committed to learn about city issues and his desire to serve the city," Connolly said. "Marc's example shows that our community and society depends on people stepping up to serve in office and as he moves on, hopefully many others will as well to fill his spot."
Levine thanked his fellow council members and city staff, who he said "have kept the ship so steady during tumultuous times."
"I hope to serve the city in a different capacity," he said.
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