Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín speaks at the Hope Center ribbon cutting on Oct. 27, 2022. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín has taken an early step toward a run for state Senate.

Campaign finance records show Arreguín filed last week to form a campaign committee for the 2024 election seeking the seat now held by Sen. Nancy Skinner. Term limits bar Skinner, who has represented the district that includes Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond since 2016, from running for re-election.

Arreguín’s filing was first reported by Rob Pyers, an analyst with the nonpartisan publication California Target Book, which tracks state politics.

Arreguín could not immediately be reached for comment Monday morning.

Forming a campaign committee doesn’t necessarily mean Arreguín will run for the seat; campaign finance records show he has also formed a committee to seek re-election to the mayor’s office next year. He is the only candidate so far to file for Skinner’s seat.

Still, the filing is an early indication of what a pivotal year 2024 could be for local, state and federal offices representing Berkeley.

In addition to the race for state Senate, the crowded field of candidates vying to replace U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year will reportedly include Rep. Barbara Lee; if Lee runs, that could set off a scramble among East Bay politicians to fill the U.S. House seat she has held since 1998. Meanwhile, if Arreguín departs for Sacramento, Berkeley would be set up for an open race to succeed him as mayor.

Nico Savidge joined Berkeleyside in 2021 as a senior reporter covering city hall. Born and raised in Berkeley, he got his start in journalism at Youth Radio as a high-schooler in the mid-2000s. Since then,...