Kriss Worthington, Berkeley’s first gay member of the city council, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election to his District 7 seat.

He made the declaration on the steps of Berkeley City Hall. A day earlier on Facebook, Worthington framed the event in terms of “will he” or “won’t he” run for re-election.

Worthington took the tease further Thursday, according to Berkeleyside, by holding up a pair of running shoes in one hand to signify he was running against for office, and a baton in the other to represent he was not.

The baton was his choice. During the same press conference Worthington endorsed recent U.C. Berkeley graduate Rigel Robinson as his successor. Robinson, and another Cal student, Aiden Hall, are the only current declared candidates for the November election.

Worthington Arreguin
Berkeley Councilmember Kriss Worthington and then-Councilmember Jesse Arreguin at a candidate forum in 2016.

Over the past 22 years, Worthington was a stalwart member of the city council’s progressive wing. In 2016, Worthington ran for Berkeley mayor, ostensibly not to win, but to help fellow Councilmember Jesse Arreguin win the ranked-choice voting election over Laurie Capitelli, which proved successful.