(CBS SF) — In one of the highest-spending elections in the state, Republican attorney Catharine Baker held a firm lead over three Democratic opponents for the East Bay 16th Assembly District race.

With more than 50 percent of precincts reporting, Baker had 36 percent of the vote. Labor activist and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti was holding onto a 28 to 23 percent lead over Orinda Vice Mayor Steve Glazer, a longtime political strategist who lobbied for a ban on BART strikes. Sbranti opposed the ban and defended the right of BART workers to strike. Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich had 13 percent of the vote.


The top two vote-getters will face off in the November 4 general election. It was expected Baker would earn one of the spots as Democratic voters would be choosing among three candidates.

Realtor groups and business interests poured nearly $1.9 million into Glazer’s campaign while Sbranti received $1.8 million in labor help.

The coveted seat, which covers Alameda and Contra Costa counties and extends from Berkeley to the Tri-Valley, is currently held by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan who is termed out at the end of the year.