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Oakland Has A New Mayor - Ron Dellums - Oakland Tribune

On Friday, Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente called Ron Dellums to congradulate him after learning that 50.18 percent of voting Oaklanders chose him as the next Mayor of Oakland. Here's the full Oakland Tribune report:

Mayor race ends with concession
De La Fuente calls to congratulate Dellums, pledges 'to continue working very hard

By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE

OAKLAND — Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente called former U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums on Saturday morning to concede the hard-fought race to become Oakland's next mayor.

During a brief afternoon news conference at his Fruitvale home, De La Fuente said he congratulated Dellums and pledged to work with him as mayor of Oakland.

"I will continue working very hard on those issues that got me into this mayor's race," De La Fuente said. Standing on his back porch, flanked by aides as well as his wife and daughter, he did not take questions.

Mike Healy, a spokesman for Dellums, said the phone call between the two former rivals was pleasant. Dellums thought De La Fuente was gracious, Healy said.

Dellums plans to hold a news conference Monday morning;

De La Fuente scheduled one for Monday evening and said he would discuss his future plans in detail then. The election of Dellums, who left Congress in 1998 after 27 years representing the East Bay and worked as a lobbyist, represents a sea change in Oakland politics.

Dellums' margin of outright victory could hardly have been slimmer — just 153 votes separated him from facing De La Fuente in a Nov. 7 run off.

Overall, however, it was not close. Dellums got 50.18 percent of the 83,675 votes cast for mayor of Oakland while De La Fuente collected 32.99 percent, or 27,607 votes.

On Friday, elections workers finished counting 3,428 provisional ballots just before 11 p.m. As the last ballot was processed, a huge cheer erupted from the workers, who have been tallying ballots practically around the clock since June 6.

There may be a handful of damaged or mismarked ballots left to count, but not enough to change the result, said Acting Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald. The deadline for the election to be certified is July 4.

Councilmember Nancy Nadel (Downtown-West Oakland), who saw her progressive base and many of her ideas swallowed by Dellums' entry into the race, was third with 13.06 percent.

Businessman and former Oakland Police Officer Ron "Oz" Oznowicz won 2.18 percent of the vote, housing developer Arnie Fields got 1.02 percent and perennial candidate Hector "Reno" Reyna was last with 0.41 percent.

The results had been delayed by Alameda County's switch from electronic voting to paper ballots and a shortage of optical scanners to tally the votes, officials said.

Two Oakland races will be decided by a November runoff: city auditor and the Grand Lake-Chinatown seat on the City Council.

In his bid for a third term, City Auditor Roland Smith will face Courtney Ruby, chief financial officer of the East Bay Conservation Corps.

Councilmember Patricia Kernighan, who won the Grand Lake-Chinatown seat on the council in a special election last year, will face Aimee Allison, a businesswoman and member of the Green Party. While Kernighan supported De La Fuente for mayor, Allison backed Dellums.

Desley Brooks, the only council member to support Dellums, won re-election to the Eastmont-Seminary seat outright, defeating two challengers.

Dellums and De La Fuente, who represents the city's Glenview-Fruitvale district, presented starkly different plans for Oakland. While Dellums dazzled crowds with a sweeping vision of Oakland as a model city, determined to confront the problems that has bedeviled it for decades, De La Fuente promised to deliver on the basics of city government and to encourage private investment.

Until Dellums entered the race, it was shaping up to be a somewhat sleepy contest between De La Fuente, who launched his campaign in 2004, and Nadel, longtime opponents on the council.

De La Fuente appeared to have all of his ducks in a row — the endorsement of Mayor Jerry Brown, who is being forced from office by term limits, and a majority of council members, among others. De La Fuente's campaign coffers were flush with the support of Oakland business and development communities, who looked to him to continue Brown's development-friendly legacy.

But then a petition drive that garnered 8,000 signatures spurred Dellums, who has long been a progressive icon, to enter the race. Although his platform was criticized as too broad to be implemented in a city as complex as Oakland, his supporters said they were inspired by his call to take action and become involved in civic life.

And just like Brown did eight years ago, Dellums used his vision of Oakland to defeat De La Fuente and win the mayor's office, writing another chapter in his storied political life.

Dellums will be inaugurated Jan. 1, 2007.
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