OAKLAND (KCBS)— California Governor Jerry Brown endorsed Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf in the city’s mayors’ race on Monday.
Schaaf was a former aide to Brown during his tenure as Oakland’s mayor and the two know each other quite well. The governor is not known to endorse often in competitive campaigns that do not involve himself. However, four years ago he endorsed Don Perata in his unsuccessful race against current Mayor Jean Quan.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, Brown said he thinks Schaaf will make a great mayor and he’s written a letter of endorsement that is set to go out to Oakland voters explaining why he’s chosen the candidate.
The letter includes a P.S. at the bottom that says if Schaaf is not your first choice, he hopes that you’ll pick her as second or third, referring to the ranked-choice voting system.
KCBS reporter Doug Sovern asked the governor who he’d be putting on his own ballot as the second or third choice and he responded by saying that he wasn’t sure because he hasn’t figured out that part of the ballot and that it’s too complicated. He would only confirm that he and his wife would be voting for Schaaf.
Schaaf appeared at the news conference with Brown and is third in the polls behind Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan and incumbent candidate Mayor Quan. She hopes having his endorsement will lead to victory and he’s offered his support in future campaign events and appearances in the coming weeks.