Oakland City Councilwoman Jean Quan has won the Oakland mayor’s race, defeating ex-state Senator Don Perata, 50.98% to 49.02%.
Update 6:08 p.m.: The results aren’t up yet on the registrar’s office website. But our reporter Ellen Cushing is at the registrar’s office with the results. Quan 53,778 votes to Perata 51,720.
Update 6:19 p.m.: Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan also fell just short of catching Quan. Kaplan had 32,645 votes compared to Quan’s 34,958 votes before Kaplan is eliminated in the next-to-last round of ranked choice tabulations. But then when Kaplan is out, Quan slingshots past Perata, picking up 18,820 second- and third-place votes from Kaplan supporters, while Perata only gets 6,390.
Update 6:25 p.m.: From Quan: “David has beaten Goliath: we have shown that old-fashioned grass roots organizing and hard, honest campaigning can overcome big money, machine politics.”
Update 6:29 p.m.: From Kaplan: “I congratulate Mayor-elect Jean Quan on her victory. 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.”
Update 6:34 p.m.: Perata still got the most first-place votes, but his inability to pick up second- and third-choices allowed Quan to sweep by him. Perata received 40,224 first-place votes (33.72%), followed by Quan with 29,206 (24.48%), Kaplan with 25,751 (21.59%), and Joe Tuman with 14,318 (12.00%).
Update 6:38 p.m.: Quan becomes the first woman mayor in Oakland history. She also is the first Asian-American woman mayor of a major US city.
Update 6:40 p.m.: More from Quan: “My family has lived in Oakland for over 100 years. My parents were poor immigrants. My mother was illiterate and my dad died when I was five. My parents worked in Oakland hotels, restaurants and garment factories. I attended public schools and went to UC Berkeley on a scholarship. As a college student I was founder of Asian American studies and helped organize tutoring programs for students West Oakland and Chinatown, and helped fight redevelopment removal of local residents there, too.”
Update 6:42 p.m. From Quan’s press release: “Quan has launched a nationwide search for a professional City Administrator to serve as the City’s chief operations officer to the Mayor’s Chief Executive Officer role. She has asked well-respected former Oakland city manager Henry Gardener, recently retired Executive Director of the Association of Bay Area Governments, and former Berkeley City Manager Dan Boggan to help recruit an experienced, professional city administrator with strong progressive roots.”
Update 6:45 p.m.: More from Quan: “Come January when I take the oath as Oakland’s first woman mayor, I’ll take office in City Hall 8 blocks from where my great-grandfather took refuge in Oakland after the 1906 Earthquake, 6 blocks from where my mother-in-law and sister worked as garment workers, and 4 blocks from where my father was a hotel cook. I am grateful and humbled by the trust the voters have placed on me as their new Mayor.”
Update 6:46 p.m.: More From Kaplan: “I am proud — not only of the campaign we ran — but of the city we’re a part of. Throughout this journey, I was honored to work towards helping form a new coalition in an effort to create a stronger, safer and more prosperous city. Oakland has its share of challenges, but together our community’s leadership on critical issues will bring people together in a profound and powerful way. 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. 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.”
Update 6:49 p.m.: Registrar spokesman Guy Ashley says the office is still having trouble loading the data on the website. But that it should be up soon.
Update 7:04 p.m.: Results show that the registrar counted about 23,000 late absentee and provisional ballots in the Oakland mayor’s race between Friday afternoon and today. But all of those ballots were not enough for either Perata or Kaplan to catch up to Quan. In fact, today’s percentages closely mirror the results released on Friday. That means those 23,000 voters voted very much like the 96,000 or so whose ballots were counted last week.
Update 7:10 p.m.: Perata campaign consultant John Whitehurst told the Chronicle that ranked choice voting “is an injustice, and Oakland will pay the price. It’s a travesty that a candidate that wins 78 percent of the precincts and leads by more than 11,000 votes (after first-choice votes are counted), with a margin of nearly 10 percent, loses the election. In any other contest it would be a landslide win, not an election loss.”