The votes are still being counted, but in the race to become District 3 representatives on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, two leaders in the race are preparing for the November runoff.
Oakland deputy mayor and at-large councilor Rebecca Kaplan led with nearly 40% of the vote, as of the latest vote count published Friday evening. But to earn the June primary race, candidates have to get at least 50%, so it’s likely that Kaplan will face off in November against second-place candidate, former Alameda city council member Lena Tam.
Tam garnered just 30% of the vote as of Friday evening. Behind her were former Oakland Unified Schools board member and youth nonprofit director David Kakishiba, and former San Leandro Councilmember Surleen Grant.
The candidate is in a race to replace Wilma Chan, who held the seat since 2011 and also served on the board before being elected to the state assembly in the 1990s. Chan was killed by a motorist while walking his dog in Alameda in November.
His seat was temporarily filled in November when supervisors appointed his longtime chief of staff, Dave Brown, to serve the rest of his term. The appointment prompted lawsuits from the Alameda County Taxpayers Association, which argues that it is not valid because the board did not consider other possible replacements and Brown lived outside the district – and Alameda County – of Oakland for days before his selection. Till you go
But Brown vowed not to run for the seat for long, and was barred from doing so anyway by the Alameda County charter, which requires elected officials to live within the district they belong to less. want to represent for at least one year, leaving the seat open.
According to the financial records of the election campaign and the information published so far about the election results, the candidates are from different parts of the district and have mostly drawn their support from those areas. District 3 includes parts of Oakland – Jack London Square, Chinatown and downtown and parts of East Oakland as well as Alameda, San Leandro and San Lorenzo.
Kaplan, a progressive who served as the representative at large on Oakland City Council since 2009, attracted votes for most of Oakland in the district, as well as parts of San Leandro and the southern edge of the district. It raised funds from Oakland residents and labor unions, and gained the support of the Alameda County Democratic Party, the local SEIU union, which represents many government employees, as well as the nurses’ union.
“We are rallied to victory in November,” Kaplan said in a text message, adding that the results show his edge over other candidates, noting that he is “incredibly respected and grateful” to voters.
“With the significant challenges facing community health and right-wing attacks on our rights to the Supreme Court and others, it is more important than ever to bring in dedicated public-health, pro-LGBT, and pro-choice leadership for us. County,” Kaplan continued.
Electoral data so far shows TAM was the highest voter in the city of Alameda. Tam served on the Alameda City Council from 2006 to 2014 and was previously the Alameda County Planning Commissioner. Tam was endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County, as well as by several local elected officials, including Oakland Mayors Libby Schaff and Dave Brown – Chan’s former chief of staff and current supervisor.
In a statement to supporters, Tam thanked voters and handed Chan a sign, noting that “Wilma was a lion on the board of observers.”
“The only Asian American and the only woman surrounded by men, she held herself to the grace, dignity, and righteous belief that Alameda County should be better,” Tam wrote. “I share that belief.”
While Kakishiba earned the support of many education officials – including members of the Oakland Unified Board – and other local elected officials, as well as community members, he did not receive enough votes to defeat Kaplan or Tam on the district campus, according to election data. shows.
A former member of the San Leandro Council, Surleen Grant was supported by several San Leandro elected officials, as well as by groups such as the Environmental Justice League, a black woman organized for political action.
and the South Alameda County Young Democrats. Grant took parts of San Leandro, but ultimately this was not enough to overtake the other three candidates.
“The expected low turnout in elections out of the year was really as disappointing as the result for me, personally,” Grant said in an email to this newspaper. “But that’s how democracy works.”
Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis did not answer questions on Monday about how many votes were left to be counted, but as of Friday, published election data showed that 171,457 ballots were counted, or all registered voters in Alameda County. Around 18.25%.
“I really want people to understand more about the impact of local elections on their daily lives and get out there,” Grant said.