After a dramatic week of vote tallying, the race has officially been called: Oakland city council member Jean Quan beat former State Senator Don Perata by the narrowest of margins to become Oakland’s next mayor. Quan is the city’s first Asian American mayor, and also the first woman to hold the job.
Oakland used a new ranked-choice voting system for this election. Even though Perata received the majority of first-choice votes, more people chose Quan as their second and third choice candidate. Quan won 50.98 percent of the vote, Perata 49.02. The Perata team is said to be mulling legal action.
Quan has a long history of progressive leadership in the city, where she served for several terms on the city’s school board, and for eight years on the city council. Quan faces a tough job in a city with no shortage of urgent needs and a demanding constituency. For now, congratulations are in order for Quan’s milestone achievements.