Breaking: Jean Quan is Oakland’s new mayor
on November 10, 2010
City council member Jean Quan has become Oakland’s newest mayor, according to a provisional announcement made by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Wednesday evening.
After the official count ended, Quan received 50.98 percent of the vote, beating former state senator Don Perata, who garnered only 49.02 percent.
“We’d like to thank everyone,” Quan said at a press conference immediately following the registrar’s announcement. “It’s been a long way for Oakland and it’s been a long way for many people … This is really a victory for grassroots effort in this city.”
Quan took the podium in front of city hall to supporters’ chants of her campaign slogan, “block by block.” She thanked Oakland voters and spoke about her priorities as Oakland’s next mayor. Quan said she will use the weeks before she takes office to organize her agenda, with “crime, jobs and young people” as her top priorities. Campaign organizers planned a Friday party at the King of King restaurant in East Oakland in celebration of Quan’s victory. When Quan takes office on January 3, she will be Oakland’s first female and first Asian American mayor.
According to the registrar’s office, Quan holds a lead of 2,058 votes over Perata, and though the result is not yet certified, Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald said that the remaining outstanding ballots are “not enough to change the outcome.”
Don Perata will hold a press conference tomorrow at the Eastmont Mall at 10 am. “We are analyzing the results, which Senator Perata will address at the press conference tomorrow,” said campaign spokesman Rhys Williams in a statement emailed to press.
“I congratulate Mayor-elect Jean Quan on her victory,” read a press release from councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign. “She ran a tremendous grass roots campaign and reached thousands of voters block-by-block. I look forward to working with Jean to create jobs and make our streets safer by working to restore community policing.”
“I will continue to represent all Oaklanders on the City Council, and I will launch new initiatives to promote job creation, public safety and governmental reform,” Kaplan’s release continued. “My campaign has shown that we can introduce innovative ideas to a debate on the future of our city in a positive and uplifting way.” The Kaplan campaign is planning a volunteer appreciation party on Thursday, November 18, from 6-8 p.m. at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street.
Oakland voters have been anticipating a complete tally for over a week. Results released on election night, Tuesday November 2, included only voters’ first-choice candidates. In this preliminary count, Perata was shown leading with 35.13 percent of the vote over Quan’s 24.64 percent. Ranked-choice calculations were run on Friday, November 5, using an algorithm that procedurally eliminated the candidates who received the fewest first-choice votes, counting their second and third choices instead. After the computation was run, Quan surged into a slight lead over Perata, with 51.09 percent of votes to his 48.91 percent. At that point, 15,000 mail-in ballots from throughout the county remained uncounted, and it was unclear how many of those voters had cast votes in the Oakland mayoral race.
A final result had been expected Monday afternoon—Quan scheduled a press conference in anticipation of the news—but the registrar announced that it would require additional time to count several thousand provisional ballots, those of voters whose eligibility required further verification from the registrar.
After Wednesday’s final tally, Macdonald said that the last step for the election is the result’s official authorization later this month. Despite the closeness of the vote, there will be no automatic recount. “In California, there is no provision for an automatic recount,” Macdonald said. “Of course, anybody can request it.”
A recount, conducted either by hand or electronically, can be requested by any voter and requires $5,000 upfront with an additional charge of $1,500 per day per team of ballot counters.
Quan commented on the closeness of the election, emphasizing that every vote counted in this year’s mayoral race. “If you win by one vote, you win,” Quan said.
Quan expressed a desire to reach out to supporters from her opponents’ camps, those that didn’t rank her in their top three choices. “We deserve a great future and we need everyone to make that happen,” she said.
Karmah Elmusa, Laura Hautala, Shirley Lau and Evan Wagstaff contributed to this article.
Check out all of our Oakland elections coverage on our Campaign 2010 page.
Image: Quan prepares to speak at a press conference outside city hall Wednesday night after news broke at 6:00 pm that she had won the race for Oakland mayor. Photo by Shirley Lau.
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