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Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums makes history in avoiding reelection run

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums brought a sad and historic end to his four years as Mayor of Oakland yesterday. Not just because he elected to avoid running for reelection as Mayor, but the way he did it.  This blogger predicted he would run and this blogger was way wrong.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums became the first mayor in Oakland's history to not seek a second four-year term. And word of this travelled fast, as this blogger received several text messages and emails on Wednesday (my birthday), including a really nasty one from a person who was told to avoid contact with this blogger. (And if he persists, you will read about him in this space.)

But yes, you read that correctly: Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums became the first mayor in Oakland's history to not seek a second four-year term.

Since 1953, when Oakland's Mayor began serving a four-year term, every Oakland mayor has held the office longer than four years, except Ron Dellums:

John C. Houlihan - 1961-1966 (Resigned over a salary issue, then was arrested for embezzlement of funds from the estate of an elderly widow.)

John H. Reading - 1966 - 1977 (Served three terms)

Lionel J. Wilson - 1977 - 1991 (Served three terms)

Elihu M. Harris - 1991 - 1999 (My boss served two terms, then resigned to run for the State Assembly, losing to Audie Bock.)

Jerry Brown - 1999 - 2007 - Could have had a third term as Oakland Mayor, but created Measure X, which limited his own term to two.

Ronald V. Dellums - 2007 - 2010 (First one-term mayor in Oakland's four-year mayoral term history)

Mayor Ron Dellums also did not go our in a way this space can defend. I am surprised that Dellums, even with all of the issues he had to deal with in his personal life that would have became a focus of the campaign if he decided to run, failed to fight on. Now, Dellums will be considered a failure as Oakland's Mayor and a person who really didn't care about Oakland.

Is that right? No. But it's the image he's crafted for himself. Dellums should have stuck to his original plan and gave a Friday press conference, standing tall before all, and using that podium as the place to give his time as Mayor of Oakland a new life.

All that is but a dream.

Instead, we have Mayor Ron Dellums going bunker and basically stiff-arming SF Chronicle Staff Writer Matthai Kuruvila, who should learn to use a video camera. Instead, we have Mayor Ron Dellums holding a private function, with just the Oakland Post invited. Good for Oakland Post publisher Paul Cobb, but bad for Ron Dellums.

Bad because when it looked like Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums was about to become LeBron James, with the special media-friendly announcement and all that, he reverses field and sticks his head in the sand, and says "Don't bother me, brother" to the press...un, except Paul Cobb.

To his credit, Dellums has never said that to me. It's too bad and really sad to see a man I've admired over my life go out this way.

One thing's for sure, it's a wide-open Oakland Mayor's race. But I do wish Mayor Dellums would have picked another way to end his term.

Stay tuned.
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