The Oakland Mayor's Race added its 11th candidate: San Francisco State University Professor of Communications and Legal Studies and 25-year Oakland resident Joe Tuman. Tuman came from out of nowhere Wednesday to a formidable media splash suitable for, well, for someone who worked in the media.
In addition to teaching at SFState, Joe Tuman's other title was "CBS 5 Eyewitness News Political Analyst," a job he gave up to run for Mayor of Oakland.
Joe Tuman and I talked twice: the first time briefly at his campaign kickoff by Lake Merritt and the second time at Cafe DiBartolo on Grand Avenue (a video that will come later). Tuman says he simply felt that it was time for the right leadership at Oakland City Hall and he believes he can provide that.
In that way, Tuman is no different that Terrance Candell or any of the other candidates in the Oakland Mayor's Race, except that Tuman and Candell point to the leadership problem as they see it more often than the other candidates.
But what other difference does Tuman bring? Tuman has a more corporate style than his competitors. He comes with well-tailored suits, shined shoes, and tightly-tied tie. He stands ramrod straight, thin, and very well-tanned. Tuman looks more like a Miami Beach hotel developer than a guy running for Mayor of Oakland.
But the reality is Tuman came to Oakland 25 years ago and from Berkeley, settled in Trestle Glen, not far from Lakeshore and got tired of Oakland's direction. One day, at his wife's behest, he decided to run for Mayor.
What Joe has is a savvy media team that really gets the Internet, much better than the other candidates. Plus, he knows people like KTVU's Political Editor Randy Shandobil, who gave him a good long segment on The Channel Two News Wednesday night. On an Internet marketing scale of 1 to 10, I'd give him a 6; there's room for improvement but where the others are at a 4, with an easy-to-read website at Joe4Mayor.com and constant use of his social networks, he's a step ahead.
But where Tuman has a long way to go to prove he's the right "Joe" for Oakland, is in his knowledge of the players in Oakland. A mayor has to know what buttons to push in order to get things done. With the exception of Don Perata, and Councilmembers Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan, both running for Mayor of Oakland, the people running haven't demonstrated that feel for the city.
On the other hand, they have three months to develop it.