Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Updated: Libby Schaaf Wins Oakland Mayor's Race

Rebecca Kaplan comes in second and Mayor Jean Quan finishes in third in ranked-choice tabulations. Kaplan, Quan, and Joe Tuman concede.

By Robert Gammon, Sam Levin, Steven Tavares, and Sam Lefebvre
Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 2:41 AM

Libby Schaaf.
  • Libby Schaaf.
City Councilmember Libby Schaaf has an insurmountable lead in the Oakland mayor's race. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Schaaf beat Rebecca Kaplan 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent in ranked-choice voting. Mayor Jean Quan was in a close third place.

Although there are still thousands of uncounted late absentee and provisional ballots, neither Kaplan nor Quan has a hope of catching Schaaf. As a result, Schaaf declared victory early this morning.

Schaaf celebrates.
  • Schaaf celebrates.
"I am honored by the tonight’s results and want to thank the people of Oakland for the trust they have placed in me," Schaaf tweeted early this morning. "The people have made it clear that they are looking for progressive leadership and a new direction for Oakland."

"I can't wait to run Oakland the way that we have run this campaign," she told the crowd of about a dozen remaining supporters at her campaign headquarters. "I think I'm awake enough to drink some champagne!"

"I feel incredibly honored that the people in my city are putting their trust in me," she told the Express. Asked how she pulled it off, she said, "I had an incredible team. It's the same thing as being mayor — no one can do this alone. From the beginning, I've surrounded myself with the most dedicated, compassionate ... professionals."

She says she is officially declaring victory: "The margin in the first place votes is significant."

She also said she learned this lesson through the campaign: "Never let anyone tell you you can't do something, not even yourself."

In ranked-choice tabulations, Joe Tuman finished fourth, followed by Dan Siegel in fifth, Bryan Parker in sixth, and Courtney Ruby in seventh place.

Schaaf got a big boost in the tally when Tuman was eliminated in the eleventh round of ranked-choice tabulations. She picked up 4,131 votes from Tuman supporters who ranked her either second or third on their ballots. The Tuman votes nearly put Schaaf over the top, giving her 49.54 percent of the vote in the penultimate round.

At that point, Kaplan had just 26.69 percent and Quan had 23.76. Then when Quan was eliminated, her supporters' votes went pretty evenly to Kaplan and Schaaf, allowing Schaaf to vault to a 25-point win.

Update 12:20 p.m., Nov. 5: Quan concedes to Schaaf:

“I want to thank Oakland voters for passing all of our local measures, which was a powerful victory for the future of our beloved city.

“I also want to congratulate Councilwoman Libby Schaaf on being elected the next Mayor of Oakland. She inherits a city where crime is down, unemployment is down, city finances are strong, police reforms are near completion, and the economic renaissance is well under way. I have been proud to be Oakland's first woman and Asian-American mayor and I thank Oaklanders for the opportunity to bring the City through these tough times.

“I pledge to help carry that work forward and collaborate with the Mayor-elect. We will do everything we can to ensure a seamless transition as we rededicate ourselves to making Oakland a safer, more prosperous home for residents of every neighborhood. Oakland is a city where every child can reach her dreams, and we all rise together.

“It has been a profound honor to serve the people of Oakland these last twenty years: as a school board member, as a councilmember, and as mayor. I plan to work hard during my remaining weeks to move projects forward and will always be active in the City I love.

“My family and I are proud of having run a positive, grassroots campaign with the most diverse base of volunteers from across the city. We know they will continue to organize. I would also like to thank all of the other candidates for raising many important issues and participating in lively dialogue that is the core of our democracy.”

Update 4:45 p.m., Nov. 5: Joe Tuman congratulates the new mayor-elect in a letter to supporters:

"I called Mayor-Elect Libby Schaaf this afternoon to offer her my sincere congratulations for her victory in this race. Libby ran a magnificent campaign, replete with message discipline, well-timed endorsements, and a strong ground game. She will be Oakland’s new Mayor; she will be my Mayor. I urge all of my supporters to rally around Libby now and join me in pledging our support— and especially our patience — as she addresses the very real needs of this city."

Update 6:05 p.m., Nov. 5: Rebecca Kaplan concedes and congratulates Schaaf in an official statement:

“This afternoon, I’m proud to congratulate Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf on her incredibly well-fought campaign to move Oakland forward. Mayor-elect Schaaf and I share a deep and profound commitment to making Oakland stronger, safer and more prosperous. We’ll together represent the entire city, and I’m excited to partner with her on a wide variety of ways to improve the city that she and I both love.

I ran for mayor because Oakland needs strong leadership, and because Oakland needs a fresh start. Today, we unite around our next mayor and dedicate ourselves to supporting her and our city in every way that we can.

Finally, I’m incredibly proud of the positive campaign we ran. My commitment to serving Oakland has never been stronger, and as City Council President Pro Tem, I’ll continue to put Oakland first every single day."

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