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Mayor, council races set

Submitted by on 1, August 9, 2010 – 5:00 am4 Comments

Updated 12:59 p.m. Monday, August 9

Alameda voters can expect a crowded ballot this November, with five candidates in the mayor’s race and eight running for two open City Council seats.

The council race includes a last-minute entry from Jean Sweeney, a local park and open space advocate who worked to make the former Belt Line city property and to ensure it will be turned into a park. Sweeney has been a vocal detractor of SunCal Companies and its plan to redevelop the former Naval Air Station Alameda, and she sits on the Restoration Advisory Board, a citizen group set up to oversee cleanup efforts there.

Mayor Beverly Johnson also jumped into the council race this week. She served one term on the council before becoming mayor.

Also running are incumbent Councilwoman Lena Tam; Planning Board president Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft; Health Care District Board member Rob Bonta; Board of Education trustee Tracy Jensen; former Alameda Journal editor Jeff Mitchell; and local businessman Adam Gillitt.

The mayor’s race includes sitting council members Frank Matarrese and Marie Gilmore, Vice Mayor Doug deHaan, former City Councilman Tony Daysog and Kenneth Kahn, a professional clown who ran in 2006.

The money race is being led by council candidate Rob Bonta, who had more than $31,000 in his campaign kitty at the end of June after campaign expenses, according to public filings. The nearly $35,000 he raised during the last six months includes $2,500 contributions from two longtime friends – a Connecticut-based artist and a Hillsborough-based nonprofit program director – and more than $4,312 from a prior “friends” committee.

Tam had about $5,900 at that date after receiving more than $7,900 in contributions, some of which was shoveled over from her aborted campaign for Alameda County supervisor. Beverly Johnson has about $3,300, including a February contribution of $2,500 from Bay Ship & Yacht (much of the $13,100 she had was spent on her failed Supervisorial bid). Ezzy Ashcraft said she just opened a fresh campaign account.

Sweeney, Gillitt, Mitchell and Jensen haven’t filed campaign finance reports yet, records show. (See Daysog’s comment below for how that process works.)

For the mayor’s race, Frank Matarrese had $2,988 in available cash as of June 30, after raising $14,479 over the past six months. Marie Gilmore has about $2,600, $1,500 of which she loaned herself. Doug deHaan has about $481, records filed with the City Clerk show. Kahn and Daysog don’t appear to have filed campaign finance forms with the City Clerk.

So far, six people are set to run for two open school board seats. The deadline to file for that race has been extended to Wednesday since Jensen has opted not to run again. The list includes incumbent Mike McMahon, former Alameda Unified administrator Margie Sherratt; Clay Pollard, a vocal opponent of the district’s anti-gay bullying Lesson 9; local businessman Rand Wrobel; James Pruitt, who is listed as a director of labor relations; and Sheri Palmer, a parent and local businesswoman.

As of Friday, four people are running for three open hospital board seats. The field includes incumbent Robert Deutsch; Leah Williams, who was appointed in December 2009 to fill the rest of Steve Wasson’s term; Alameda Democratic Club co-president and attorney James Oddie; and Stewart Chen, a chiropractor who recently served on the city’s Social Services Human Relations Board and is now on Alameda County’s Human Relations Board. Both Oddie and Chen had applied to fill the remainder of Steve Wasson’s term when he resigned.

Deutsch and Williams are running to retain their seats. The third open seat is now held by Bonta, who is running for City Council instead.

More to come on the school and hospital board races on Thursday.


  • Mark Irons says:

    Ranked Choice Voting Please. Alameda’s plurality system is antiquated and may result in candidates being seated by very low percentages of the vote. The County Registrar has approved cities to implement RCV and Oakland’s mayoral race will use Instant Run-Off Voting in November.

  • Tony Daysog says:

    An important matter regarding filing campaign expenditure forms: While I can only speak for myself, what I am about to write probably also covers Jeff Mitchell, Jean Sweeney, Tracy Jensen, and Adam Gillit. Having talked with the FPPC and the City Clerk’s office this morning to double-check my understanding of the situation, I am not required to submit my campaign finance statement until October 5, 2010 because such a statement is required only when you have gathered any amount of campaign contributions and/or spent more than $1,000, both of which requires a Form 410. As I intend on gathering contributions for expenses on behalf of my campaign, I will complete a Form 410, which places me under the campaign finance clock for October 5, 2010. So all of us are within campaign finance rules thus far. Thank you for your consideration.

    /s/ Tony Daysog (http://www.daysog.com)

  • ct says:

    With regard to campaign finance: Lauren Do wrote about how Mayor Beverly Johnson stood to gain even more than other incumbents running for office had the City Council approved the campaign finance reform ordinance which the mayor supported a little too enthusiastically (laurendo.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/10000-question/).

  • Richard Bangert says:

    I’ll second the motion for ranked choice voting proposed by Mark Irons. All in favor? Hello, anyone out there? Guess not.

    Looks like the best way to get any attention on this issue is for a professional clown to be elected mayor.

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