Nancy Skinner won 60 percent of the vote Tuesday
night in an impressive win over Sandre Swanson.

The East Bay is sending Nancy Skinner back to Sacramento following a two-year hiatus.

Skinner, a former assemblymember who was termed out in 2014, registered a clear victory Tuesday night over Sandre Swanson in the East Bay’s Ninth State Senate District race.

Skinner garnered 60 percent of support from voters in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and surrounding cities. Swanson, also a former East Bay assemblymember, received just 39 percent.

The Election Night dominance by Skinner, actually built upon an equally impressive 17-point margin over Swanson in the June primary race that also included two other candidates.

Although, Skinner’s big win was expected for months, the result is a far cry from what many East Bay politicos initially viewed more than a year ago as a certain hard-fought campaign among three highly experienced candidates. In addition to the two former assemblymembers, a third former state legislator, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, was an early entrant in the race.

As possibly a harbinger of Swanson’s poor showing on Election Night, Chan dropped out in October 2015, citing among other issues, an ability to compete with Skinner’s overwhelming fundraising advantage.

Chan turned out to be prescient as Skinner used her $1 million war chest durng the campaign to blitz voters with an avalanche of direct-mail pieces during the primary and General Election, often tailored to specific segments of the electorate.

At the same time, Swanson struggled to put a consistent public face forward for much of the election. Despite receiving the support of most of the big-name Democratic officials in the district, including Rep. Barbara Lee and Assemblymember Rob Bonta, along with a message of unwavering progressive principles, Swanson’s campaign never caught fire.

For Swanson, it is likely the end of a long and distinguished political career that first blossomed as Rep. Barbara Lee’s chief of staff and followed three terms in the State Assembly, ending in 2012.