OAKLAND (CBS SF) – As of early Wednesday morning, Oakland’s mayor Libby Schaaf wasn’t claiming victory, but she held a considerable lead over her opponents.
The mood at the Libby for Mayor campaign headquarters was definitely that of an election night victory party.
Schaaf said she took no vote for granted during her campaign and early numbers showed her with a dominant lead over her opponents.
She said the numbers reflect her commitment to this city.
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“Oakland has not had a two term mayor for 16 years and so to give the city some stability I think would be a wonderful vote of confidence from Oakland voters,” said Schaaf.
With nearly half of precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning, Schaaf had 61.5 percent of the vote. Nonprofit executive director Cat Brooks had 19 percent and civil rights attorney Pamela Price had 11 percent.
None of the other challengers had more than 2 percent of the vote.
She said should she win, she’ll spend her first few hours of her second term tackling Oakland’s homeless and illegal dumping problems.
All day Tuesday, campaign workers for incumbent mayor spent the day hitting the streets, making calls, waving signs and urging people to get out and vote.
Schaaf was long considered the favorite. Her signs were emblazoned with the words “Oakland Tough” alluding to her willingness to take on thorny issues like homelessness and immigration.
She went head-to-head with President Donald Trump publicly and repeatedly.
Schaaf had high-profile endorsements from Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein but her campaign says despite that momentum, they’re not getting ahead of themselves.
“We don’t take anything for granted and that has been our demeanor as a campaign and that has been the mayor’s demeanor as well,” said campaign manager Miles Gordon.
Schaaf’s accomplishments include dramatic decreases in gun homicides and gang-involved shootings and increases in getting more black and Latino students into college through her Oakland Promise initiative.
But her term as mayor has also been marred by a sexual exploitation scandal involving the city’s Police Department and the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in 2016 that claimed 36 lives.
Brooks, who’s widely known as leader of the activist group the Anti Police-Terror Project, said she sought the city’s top job because “hundreds of Oaklanders asked me to run.”
Brooks said rents are out of control, pushing people into the streets and alleged that the Police Department is plagued by misconduct and other problems.
Price, who unsuccessfully ran against Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in the June election, said she ran “because our city is broken” and “Oakland is at a crossroads.”