It's official: City Councilwoman Jean Quan has won the Oakland mayor's race, beating out Don Perata in the ranked-choice voting tally by a margin of 51% to 49% (a little more than 2,000 votes). Quan initially was nine points behind Perata in first-choice votes, but she popped up on ballots across the city as a second or third choice for a whole lot of people. Her name recognition as a member of the City Council since 2003 certainly helped, as did her pact with opponent and fellow Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan to tell supporters to list each other as second or third choices.
Quan becomes the first woman in history to sit in the Oakland Mayor's office, not to mention the first Asian American. As the Chron reports she will "start hiring a transition team and stay true to the priorities she laid out during the campaign: fighting crime, luring jobs to Oakland, and providing opportunities for young people." She's been speaking with Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum for the last hour, and streaming audio will go up at that link later today.
The Perata camp is, obviously, annoyed. But this is how ranked-choice voting works. The fact is, though he had a 35% to 24% lead in first choice votes, he was nowhere near having the support of half the city, and with three pretty strong candidates running the ranked choice tallies did him in. Quan received transfer votes from 75% of voters who listed Kaplan as their first choice.