By Christin Ayers

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — A candidate for Oakland mayor is using a certain word that politicians don’t usually say, a word that is unique to the Bay Area.

The ad from Libby Schaaf begins like most others, but it ends like no other ad we’ve ever seen. “Libby Schaaf for mayor, because it’s hella time for leadership in Oakland,” an announcer said.

Schaaf reiterated that slogan in an interview with KPIX 5. “It is hella time for leadership in Oakland,” she said.

An Oakland native, Schaaf has struggled to distinguish herself in a crowded field of candidates. She told KPIX 5 that this was her chance to introduce herself, if unconventionally.

“No one knows my background. That I am born and raised here and I have given a lifetime of service to this awesome city,” Schaaf said.

KPIX 5 showed the ad to Oakland residents. Their reviews: hella mixed.

“Hella time? She’s white, why did she say that?” one woman said.

Another Oakland resident had a different view. He said, “I’m 100 percent for people being themselves so I appreciate her being herself and that speaks volumes.”

Schaaf said that’s what the campaign is all about. “This city is going to succeed by being itself well. We don’t need to copy anybody else,” she said.

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