OAKLAND (BCN) – Former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said his close loss to City Councilwoman Jean Quan in the Oakland mayoral race is “disappointing” but he does not plan to challenge the election results.

“The results are pretty clear, and you play by the rules and win or lose by them,” Perata said, referring to the ranked-choice voting system that was used in Oakland for the first time on Nov. 2.

In the initial results that were counted on election night, Perata was the clear frontrunner in the crowded 10-candidate field, with 35 percent of the vote. Quan was a distant second, with only 24 percent.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

But because Perata didn’t reach the 50 percent threshold needed for an outright victory, Oakland’s new ranked-choice voting system came into play, allowing residents to mark their top three choices.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters then ran a computer algorithm in which the second-choice selection of voters whose first votes were for the lower-ranked finishers were distributed to the top remaining candidates until one candidate surpassed 50 percent.

When that process was completed late Tuesday, Quan came out on top with 50.98 percent to Perata’s 49.02 percent – a difference of 2,058 votes.

Oakland Mayor-Elect Jean Quan Speaks to KCBS:

Speaking to reporters in the parking lot of the Eastmont Mall in East Oakland this morning, Perata said he feels “honored and privileged” to have received the most first-choice votes.

He said he received 11,000 more first-choice votes than Quan did and beat her in 78 percent of the city’s precincts in the first round of voting.

“In a normal election, I would have won by a landslide,” he said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. Judy Belcher says:

    Senator Perata is wrong when he states that” in a normal election, I would have won by a landslide” It show how out of touch with Oakland he is, since in Oakland you must have a majority of votes to win and more than 60% of voters did not vote for him.

  2. Jim Ratliff says:

    Even before ranked-choice voting, Oakland required a runoff if no candidate got a majority of the votes in the first election. Therefore Perata would not have won prior to RCV. There would have been a runoff.

    Based on the preferences expressed by voters in the actual election, 51% of voters preferred Quan to Perata. So in a runoff Perata would have lost in the same way that he lost in the actual election.

  3. kanank says:

    Just another carrer politician on his way out Jerry Brown is the newly elected. SO this corrupt Perata will end up getting a nice post in Sacramento running some agency. Just the way things work in the california swamp.

  4. David says:

    cbs5 should be ashamed of the very biased journalism regarding their take on this story on their evening news. The reporter covering the lead story seemed to discount the election because of the ranked-choice voting system. This system was approved by voters, so how does this make a story now. The anchor even agreed that he likes the “old fashion” system. Where are the pros and cons cbs? Why do you cover a story and present it one-sided. Do you know that not only did voters approve of this system, but it saves tax payers money by not having costly run-off elections. The race was won fair and square. 70% of the voters used the rank-choice system when they voted, so it seems the majority understand it. Plus it seems like Oakland does have a very qualified new major, and an Asian and a woman, making it a historical race. cbs5 should present stories more fairly giving the viewer all the information to make informed decisions…..does cbs believe in good and fair journalism or do they have another agenda with their stories?

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