BART District 8 candidate Janice Li talks to people at the traditional Election Day lunch at John's Grill on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Bicycle advocate takes lead in BART board race

BART has a new voice from San Francisco’s West Side on its influential Board of Directors.

Janice Li, the advocacy director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, appeared set to win the BART board race to take the seat previously held by outgoing director Nick Josefowitz.

She took the lead in the crowded, six-person race with more than 29 percent of the vote, well ahead of her next closest competitor Eva Chao, who had just over 20 percent of the vote.

Li is a political newcomer who garnered wide endorsements from San Francisco’s established progressive-leaning Democrats, and the endorsement of current BART board director Bevan Dufty.

Candidates Melanie Nutter, Jonathan Lyens and Li raised the most money among the six candidates in the race.

Nutter is the former head of the San Francisco Department of the Environment and enjoyed strong backing from establishment moderate-leaning Democrats across San Francisco, while Lyens, a city contracts negotiator, was endorsed by major BART unions.

The BART Board District 8 seat, currently held by Josefowitz, wraps in a crescent shape from the northern tip of The City around the west to the bottom of San Francisco. It includes neighborhoods such as North Beach, the Marina District, The Richmond and Sunset Districts, the Ingleside and Crocker-Amazon neighborhoods — many of which are not directly served by BART.

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