When Bill Lockyer and Liz Figueroa served together as Alameda County's state senators in the 1990s, they were also, as the gossip columnists like to say, "an item."
Lockyer went on to become state treasurer and got married. By happenstance, his wife, Nadia, and Figueroa found themselves vying this year for a vacant seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors - and it became a nasty personal duel.
Treasurer Lockyer, who has a multimillion-dollar political war chest, shifted more than a half-million-dollars into his wife's campaign and it helped her emerge on top of a four-candidate field Tuesday with 38.06 percent of the supervisor district vote.
However, Figueroa came in second with 24.94 percent, shading Mark Green, and unless still-uncounted absentee votes push Green ahead of Figueroa in the final tally, she and Nadia Lockyer are headed for an even more pointed runoff duel in the fall.