Longtime BART board member and board president Lynette Sweet lost her re-election bid in a close race last week that's finally been called for her challenger, 25-year-old Zakhary Mallett. Sweet lost her long-held seat after some contractors for BART funded at least $60,000 in attack ads against her, in retaliation for her having criticized them for not using more minority subcontractors.
Mallett, who is also African-American and lives in El Sobrante, was until recently a grad student at UC Berkeley, where he got a Masters in city planning with an emphasis on transit planning.
Sweet, who's spent most of her life in banking, has served as director of District 7 since being appointed to the board as a replacement in 2003. In 2006, she was elected President, and she was re-elected to the board in both 2004 and 2008. In 2010, she unsuccessfully ran for the S.F. Board of Supervisors for District 10. She was a very vocal critic of BART's management's handling of the cell phone service shutdown last August during the Oscar Grant protests.
BART's District 7 includes part of San Francisco as well as Oakland and part of west Contra Costa County.