Dellums quiet about seeking re-election

February 17, 2010 7:15:09 PM PST
Oakland's mayor has not yet announced whether he'll run for re-election in the fall.

"I say this to you on my mother's eyes and it ought to be powerful enough. I am not campaigning," Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said.

Strong words, but they don't directly answer the question: Will Mayor Dellums seek a second term?

ABC7 tried to ask him and he says he's not campaigning -- right now.

"Right now my soul focus is on the quality of life of Oakland. I'll let the next several weeks or few months determine whether I decide to run or not, right now I'm governing," he said.

Oakland doesn't vote on a new mayor until November, but the race is already heating up.

City councilwoman Jean Quan, a former neighborhood activist, is in the race against former state senate president Don Perata.

The one thing both agree on at this point is that they don't believe 74-year-old Dellums will decide to run for re-election.

"I'm considered the underdog in this race because I'm running against somebody with more money and more name recognition," Quan said.

"I'm not running against Ron Dellums and I'm not running against the mayor's office, but I do think that people want answers coming out of City Hall," Perata said.

So what's behind all this speculation that Dellums might be considering a second term? Well, the usually very low-profile mayor has been unusually busy these past few weeks, making public appearances like he's on the campaign trail.

The questions Dellums would face on the campaign trail won't be easy. Critics accuse him of being absent from City Hall and on top of it, he and his wife owe more than a $250,000 in taxes to the IRS.

For now, the former U.S. congressman is answering questions about his political future like an experienced politician.

"If I decide to run you will know. If I decide not to run you will know it," Dellums said.