Know your candidates: an interactive guide to the Oakland Mayor’s race

Candidates for Oakland mayor

Nine of 10 candidates for Oakland mayor gathered at Holy Names University for one of the last forums before the election. Bob Butler of the National Association of Black Journalists (sixth from the left), moderates the forum.

In anticipation of the 2010 election, Oakland North asked the 10 candidates for Oakland mayor two questions: what distinguishes you from the other nine hopefuls and what would your top two priorities be as the city’s next mayor?

Scroll over the candidates’ images to read their responses:

Terence Candell

Director of a local school

Candell says that life experience on the streets of Oakland has distinguished him in the race for mayor. He also said that his eloquence set him apart from the competition. “I am able to articulate the English language in ways that would make people’s hair stand on end.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Opening 20 youth centers in Oakland
2.) Employing Oaklanders, with a focus on minority males

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 16: $33,467.94

Arnie Fields

Business owner

Fields says that he is the underdog in the race, but distinguishes himself by campaigning cheaply and promising large financial returns if he were to be elected. “I’m about serving, not being served.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Increasing graduation rates for Oakland youth
2.) Improving public safety

Total campaign spending: Forms not filed with city as of Oct. 25.

Greg Harland

Retired small business owner

Harland says that his experience as a small business owner gives him insight that others running for Oakland mayor lack. The absence of entrepreneurial sensibilities, he says, is what placed the city in financial distress. “Some of them have no business experience at all.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Providing jobs and education to deter crime
2.) Curbing gang violence

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 20: $6,899

Joe Tuman

Political analyst

Tuman says he distinguishes himself by being the only leading candidate who hasn’t been an elected official, giving him an outsider’s view of the issues in Oakland government. “You want someone outside the process to bring a new and different perspective.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Improving public safety
2.) Negotiating pension reform

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 21: $45,680

Rebecca Kaplan

Oakland city council member

Kaplan says her plan for Oakland’s recovery, highlighting her emphasis on local hiring, sets her apart from the other candidates. “I have the most effective strategy for revitalization of our community,” Kaplan said.

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Rebuilding Oakland’s economy
2.) Improving public safety

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 16: $157,143.48

Don Macleay

Business owner

Macleay says, though Oaklanders are wary of politicians, his Green party message resonates with voters. “I am independent from the Democrats, the professional political career building and the big money and influential, but un-elected, endorsements,” Macleay said.

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Governing on behalf of every demographic
2.) Overhauling the city budget

Total campaign spending as of Sept. 30: $1,285

Don Perata

Former state senator

Perata says his experience distinguishes him in the crowded mayoral race. After serving in the state senate for 12 years, Perata believes he has a proven record of being able to make tough political decisions. “I think I have the experience, the whiskers, and the scars.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Balancing Oakland’s budget
2.) Improving the functionality of city government

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 16: $562,985.83

Jean Quan

Oakland city council member

Quan says that she and Perata are the only two candidates running a city-wide campaign, but that she is prepared to be Oakland’s next mayor because of her 20 years of public service and familiarity with the city. “I don’t need a GPS or a driver to get around town.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Improving public safety
2.) Providing education and jobs for Oakland’s youth

Total campaign spending as of Oct. 16: $267,900.01

Marcie Hodge

Peralta Community College trustee

Hodge says her unique idea to decentralize the police department for more effective law enforcement sets her apart from the other candidates. She says she has the entrepreneurial drive required of Oakland’s next mayor. “My expertise as a business person suggests I am the perfect person to lead Oakland.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Creating jobs with a living wage
2.) Decentralizing the police department

Total campaign spending: Forms not filed with city as of Oct. 25.

Larry Lionel Young, Jr.

Real estate agent

As the youngest candidate in the race for Oakland mayor, Young says he had more energy than his competitors and could better relate to the city’s young people. “I can, at my age, leave a legacy and be the best mayor that Oakland’s ever had.”

Top two priorities as mayor of Oakland:
1.) Implementing after school programs
2.) Tapping sustainable sources of energy for Oakland

Total campaign spending: Did not spend the $1,000 minimum required to file

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