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Oakland Mayor's Race: Rebecca Kaplan Fears Joe Tuman

The Oakland Mayor's Race is heating up, and with Joe Tuman in the spotlight, yet again. All of this because Tuman has become a serious threat to Mayoral Candidates Don Perata, and Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan, the elected officials considered front runners in the Oakland Mayor's Race.

Yesterday in this space it was reported that Tuman so frustrated San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Matthai Kuruvali that he placed his head in his hands and on the table in a photo that, until closer inspection, looked like Kuruvali was banging his head.

While the full report on the "heated discussion" is coming soon, knowing Tuman and the overall landscape, as well as what information's come in, the tone of the conversation between Tuman and Kuruvali was undoubtedly shaped by Kuruvali's desire to prove that when it comes to Oakland politics and policy, he thinks Tuman's a novice. Knowing Joe, he never relented to Kuruvali's dogged attempt to trip him up.   (Note to Kuruvali: relax, brotha!)

Now comes Rebeca Kaplan.

Kaplan is openly recommending that Joe Tuman not be anyone's second choice, and for good reason: it seems every time Rebecca gets an endorsement, Joe's name is mentioned next.  Thus, if some pick Don Perata, the next person may be Joe Tuman; now with Rebecca's rise, Tuman has two camps to grab from - Perata's and Kaplan's.  Joe's star is rising almost because of Rebecca Kaplan. So Rebecca's trying to shake Joe as best she can before a constant stream of second choice votes pushes Tuman into the Mayor's Office on election day.

What could happen is with the third choice.  If that choice is solidly one person, say, Councilmember Jean Quan, or Greg Harland or Don Macleay or Terrance Candell, that person could win.   That's the possibility Ranked Choice Voting presents, especially with the game playing going on.

The Oakland Mayor's Race is so tight now, that a little thing like where the candidates stand on the repeal of the Oakland anti-cross-dressing law or a big thing like the Oakland Gang Injunction effort may turn the election for one and against the other.

Stay tuned.
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