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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)