There is speculation that BART Director Thomas Blalock is seriously contemplating retirement after more than two decades on the rapid transit board.

At a BART meeting Thursday morning, Blalock did little to quell those rumors when he glowingly introduced the chair of the Measure RR Oversight Committee, who recently announced her candidacy for Blalock’s Tri-Cities board seat this fall.

“She’s doing a bang-up job from what I can see,” Blalock said of Anu Natarajan and her oversight role for the $3.5 billion infrastructure bond approved by voters in 2016. He also referenced his previous work with Natarajan on the Fremont Downtown Advisory Committee.

Natarajan Anu
Anu Natarajan served three terms on the Fremont City Council.

Blalock was first elected in 1994 and rumors of Natarajan’s interest in running for his seat which covers, Fremont, Union City, Newark and portions of Hayward and unincorporated Alameda County, was believed predicated on whether he would not seek re-election.

Blalock has been noncommittal about his future plans, according to a source.

His praise for Natarajan at Thursday’s meeting also appeared deliberate. Such comity from an elected official toward an electoral challenger is not typical.

Earlier this month, Natarajan posted a campaign fundraising website announcing her candidacy for the District 6 seat. She previously served three terms on the Fremont City Council and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2012. Natarajan currently works for as a legislative affairs manager.