Votes are still being tallied, but in the race to become the District 3 representative on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, two leaders in the race are preparing for the November runoff.
Oakland Vice Mayor and councilmember-at-large Rebecca Kaplan took the lead as of the latest vote count published Friday evening, with nearly 40% of the vote. But in order to clinch a June primary race, candidates must get at least 50%, so it’s likely that Kaplan will face off in November against the second-place candidate, former Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam.
Tam took just over 30% of the vote, as of the Friday evening tally. Behind her was former Oakland Unified school board member and youth nonprofit director David Kakishiba and former San Leandro Councilmember Surlene Grant.
The candidates are vying to replace Wilma Chan, who held the seat since 2011 and had also served a stint on the board in the 1990s before she was elected to the state Assembly. Chan was killed by a motorist in November while walking her dog in Alameda.
Her seat was temporarily filled in November when the supervisors appointed her longtime chief of staff, Dave Brown, to serve the rest of her term. The appointment prompted lawsuits from the Alameda County Taxpayers Association, which contends it’s not valid because the board didn’t consider other potential replacements and Brown lived outside the district — and Alameda County — until moving to Oakland just a few days before his selection.
But Brown had vowed not to run for the seat long-term, and was precluded from doing so anyway by Alameda County’s charter that requires elected officials to live within the district they want to represent for at least a year, leaving the seat wide open.
The candidates hail from different parts of the district and have mostly drawn their support from those areas, according to campaign finance records and the information published so far about the election’s results. District 3 includes portions of Oakland — Jack London Square, Chinatown and parts of downtown and East Oakland — as well as Alameda, San Leandro and San Lorenzo.
Kaplan, a progressive who has served as the at-large representative on the Oakland City Council since 2009, attracted votes in much of the Oakland portions of the district, as well as parts of San Leandro and the southern edge of the district. She had raised money from Oakland residents and labor unions, and received the endorsements of the Alameda County Democratic Party, the local SEIU union that represents many government workers, as well as the nurses union, among others.
“We are mobilizing for victory in November,” Kaplan said in a text message after the results showed her lead over the other candidates, noting she is “incredibly honored and thankful” to voters.
“With the significant challenges facing community health, and the right-wing attacks on our rights from the Supreme Court and others, it is more important than ever to bring dedicated pro-public health, pro-LGBT, and pro-choice leadership to our county,” Kaplan continued.
Tam was the top vote-getter in most of the city of Alameda, the election data thus far shows. Tam served on the Alameda City Council from 2006 to 2014 and was an Alameda County planning commissioner before then. Tam was endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County, as well as a number of local elected officials, including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Dave Brown — Chan’s former chief of staff and current supervisor.
In a statement to supporters, Tam thanked voters and gave a nod to Chan, noting that “Wilma was a lion on the Board of Supervisors.”
“The only Asian American and the only woman surrounded by men, she held her own with grace, dignity and the righteous belief that Alameda County should be better,” Tam wrote. “I share that belief.”
While Kakishiba earned the endorsement of a number of education officials — including members of the Oakland Unified board — and other local elected officials, as well as community members, he did not get enough votes to beat Kaplan or Tam across the district’s precincts, the election data shows.
Surlene Grant, a former San Leandro council member, was endorsed by a number of San Leandro elected officials, as well as groups like Black Women Organized for Political Action, Environmental Justice League
and the South Alameda County Young Democrats. Grant carried some parts of San Leandro, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to get ahead of the other three candidates.
“The low turnout, while expected in off-year elections, was really disappointing as were the results for me, personally,” Grant said in an email to this newspaper. “But this is how democracy works.”
Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis did not answer questions Monday about how many votes were left to be counted, but as of Friday, the published election data showed that 171,457 ballots had been counted, or about 18.25 % of all registered voters in Alameda County.
“I really wish people understood more the impact of local elections on their everyday lives and turned out,” Grant said.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/06/13/kaplan-tam-appear-headed-for-runoff-in-alameda-county-supervisor-race/