Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oakland: Mayoral candidates struggle to stand out in crowded field

Fifteen candidates are vying for the position of Oakland mayor, including the incumbent Jean Quan who is seeking a second term. But the candidate who gets the most votes for the post will not necessarily be the winner -- unless he or she wins an outright majority. That's because oakland uses an instant run off election procedure which essentially transfers votes among the candidates from second and third choices until one emerges with 50%.
A recent SurveyUSA poll showed two-term, at-large City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan getting the most first place votes with 19%, with Councilwoman Libby Schaff second at 17% and Mayor Jean Quan and Joe Tuman at 15% and Bryan Parker at 10%. Governor Jerry Brown's recent endorsement of Schaff appears to have given her campaign a boost. An earlier poll had showed civil rights attorney Dan Siegel in fifth place. Both Mayor Quan and Siegel have former ties to Pacifica Radio. Quan was a volunteer reporter at KPFA while a student at U.C. Berkeley in the 1970s. Siegel is a former member of both the KPFA Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board. Tom Herriman filed this in-depth report on the Oakland mayor's race.