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The Contra Costa Times reports this morning that voters in that northern California county appear to have overturned, 55-45 percent, a ban on supercenter development.

If the vote holds up, it will be a victory for Wal-Mart, which reportedly spent a half-million dollars to influence the vote. It also would be a defeat for both Safeway and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which lobbied voters heavily to retain the ban.

While the Contra Costa legislation did not specify Wal-Mart, the company plans to build some 40 supercenters in California over the next five years, and has been meeting pockets of resistance from a number of local communities. Contra Costa had been held up by both sides as being an important test - one that Wal-Mart now appears to have won.
KC's View:
This may end the battle in Contra Costa…but we suspect that it will only heighten the battle and the stakes in other California communities.