Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf out to early lead

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf out to early lead
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Oakland residents have cast their votes to decide whether to re-elect incumbent Mayor Libby Schaaf or pick a new mayor.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland residents have cast their votes to decide whether to re-elect incumbent Mayor Libby Schaaf or pick a new mayor.

>>> California and Bay Area election results here

>>> National election results here

Schaaf is out to an early lead ahead of her the other challengers vying for her seat. If she is re-elected she will be the first Oakland Mayor since Jerry Brown to win a second term.

At Schaaf's watch party she spoke about her plan to tackle homelessness if she is re-elected.

Schaaf faces a crowded nine candidate field -- only a few of the candidates are well-known publicly.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Oakland mayoral race

Community activist Cat Brooks and attorney Pamela Price are probably the most well-known candidates they are urging voters to select the other with their second and even third choice votes.

A similar "package" strategy nearly worked in San Francisco's June special election for mayor.

Mark Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim urged voters to vote for the other, which resulted in Leno almost beating the eventual winner London Breed.

In 2010, former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan famously asked voters to use their second place vote on her and ended up winning the election, beating favorite Don Perata by just over 2,000 votes.

VIDEO: Confused about ranked-choice voting? Here's how it works

The latest poll released by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce in October shows Schaaf leading by double digits over both Price & Brooks.

It also shows that Schaaf is well short of a clear majority meaning that the city's ranked-choice voting system would be in effect.

Schaaf was elected mayor in 2014 after serving as a member of the Oakland City Council. She held numerous other government posts before that.

CA VOTING GUIDE: What to know about the midterm elections

Schaaf was born and raised in the Oakland area. She told ABC7 News that her top priorities in her second term would continuing to work on making housing affordable, tackling the homeless crisis, and improving education equity.

Community activist Cat Brooks has worked for years on justice issues. She co-founded the Anti Police-Terror Project whose mission is described as "to rapidly respond to - and eradicate - police terror in communities of color." She also played a large role in the push for police accountability in the wake of the 2009 deadly shooting of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale station.

She told ABC7 News that her top priorities as mayor include: housing, real public safety solutions, improving education, and "building an economy that works for everyone."

Civil rights attorney Pamela Price most recently ran for Alameda County District Attorney but lost out to incumbent Nancy O'Malley. Price has championed many social justice causes over the years and has even argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. She played a significant role in the Oakland police sex scandal, representing former sex worker Jasmine Abuslin, who claimed to have had relations with more than a dozen officers, some while she was a minor. Price ultimately resigned as Abuslin's attorney.

Price told ABC7 News that she would focus on the homeless crisis, affordable housing, and police accountability if elected mayor.

Full coverage on the 2018 election at abc7news.com/election.