jean-quan.jpgCity Councilwoman Jean Quan has been named the unofficial winner in Oakland’s mayoral race, a spokesman for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters said today.

Quan edged out former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata in a ranked-choice voter runoff, Registrar of Voters spokesman Guy Ashley said.

After all the votes had been counted, Quan had 50.98 percent of the vote to Perata’s 49.02 percent, Ashley said. She led by 2,058 votes in a race where more than 100,000 ballots were cast.

The results aren’t considered final yet because they still need to be certified, Ashley said. The county has until Nov. 30 to certify the results and name an official winner, but Registrar of Voters Dave MacDonald said in a statement he expects to do so sooner.

If Quan’s victory stands, she will be the first Asian American woman of a major city when she takes office on Jan. 3, according to her campaign. She will also be Oakland’s first female mayor.

“We feel very good about this,” Quan spokeswoman Sue Piper said of the councilwoman’s victory. “It shows that the Oakland voters are paying attention and want change.”

She said Quan has been working in Oakland for 20 years as a community organizer, school board member and City Council member.

“Her work was always about working with neighbors and having them work together,” she said.

Perata’s campaign said he would address the results at a news conference on Thursday.

His spokesman referred to an article that said voters might have been confused by the ranked-choice voting system, which was in used in Oakland for the first time this year.

Since a candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to win, which is difficult to obtain in races with several candidates, voters were asked to enter their first three choices.

The second-choice votes of the lower-place finishers were distributed to candidates who were still in the race until someone got at least 50 percent of the vote.

Perata led Quan 35 percent to 24 percent on election night, based on first-choice votes alone, but Quan won the ranked-choice runoff.

City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who was one of 10 candidates vying for mayor, released a statement congratulating Quan on her win.

“She ran a tremendous grassroots campaign and reached thousands of voters block by block,” Kaplan said. “I look forward to working with Jean to create jobs and make our streets safer by working to restore community policing.”

Janna Brancolini, Bay City News

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