It’s finally time to call the results of the Alameda County General Election, with ballot counting now complete, according to the county registrar of voters.
Many races across the southern part of the county looked to be extremely tight as counting progressed over the past two weeks, including the race to become Livermore’s next mayor.
With more than $700,000 spent, the race was the most expensive in the city’s history.
Most of the spending was in support of Mony Nop, a newcomer who was backed by a well-funded political action committee called Take Back Livermore. The PAC was supported by a number of influential business people in the community who are trying to deter a downtown housing project that has already been approved by the city.
At one point in early returns counting, less than 20 votes separated Nop and his opponent, former Livermore mayor John Marchand. However, Marchand edged ahead in mail-in voting and secured 53.24% of the vote in the final count.
Marchand served as mayor from 2011 to 2020 and decided to run again after the current Mayor Bob Woerner announced he was stepping down for health reasons. Nop, a realtor and former police officer, has no political experience.
“I wanted to give people a chance to vote for proven and effective leadership,” Marchand said in an interview.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to once again represent the community of Livermore. It was an extremely contentious election. Now, everyone needs to come together and work together to keep Livermore the remarkable place that it is.”
Nop conceded the election on Nov.18. “I want to thank my wife, my team, and all my supporters. I wish John Marchand good luck serving Livermore,” he said in a statement.
Woerner, who endorsed Marchand to replace him, said that he was “very pleased” with the result. “John Marchand will unquestionably do a great job. Thankfully the majority of voters saw through the massively funded and divisive misinformation campaigns and once again reaffirmed the longstanding city direction,” he said in an interview.
Take Back Livermore spent more than $372,600 to oppose the election of Marchand, as well as council candidates Mel Chiong and Evan Branning.
Branning was elected with 59.14% of the vote to represent the open seat in District 1, while Chiong lost to former Berryessa Union School District trustee Ben Barrientos in District 3. Barrientos received 55.09% of the vote.
Dublin and Pleasanton
Elsewhere in the Tri-Valley, voters decided that Melissa Hernandez will serve another two-year term as Dublin’s mayor after running uncontested.
In the race for two open Dublin City Council seats, incumbent Vice Mayor Jean Josey was reelected by a wide margin, receiving 45.79% of the vote, while Alameda County Public Health Commissioner Kashef Qaadri was elected with 33.52% of the vote.
Pleasanton’s Mayor Karla Brown also ran uncontested and will serve another term.
In the race for two open Pleasanton City Council seats, incumbent Councilmember Julie Testa was re-elected to represent District 3 with 42.94% of the vote, and Planning Commissioner Jeff Nibert was elected to represent District 1 with 61.62% of the vote.
The race for mayor of Hayward was also straightforward, as Councilmember Mark Salinas ran for the position unopposed.
Eight people were running for two open spots on Hayward City Council. Julie Roche and George Syrop were elected, with 23.56% and 16.32% of the vote, respectively.
Planning Commissioner Dan Goldstein had been leading over Syrop in early returns, but only received 14.45% of the vote in the final count.
District 10 state Senate
The Hayward City Council will have to decide how to fill another vacancy after December, as current Councilmember Aisha Wahab will become the next state senator for District 10 – an area of more than 1 million people that stretches across both southern Alameda and northern Santa Clara counties
Many eyes were on the expensive race between Wahab and Fremont Mayor Lily Mei; the two were vying to replace Sen. Bob Wieckowski after he terms out at the end of this year.
More than $6 million was spent by a number of political action committees during the race, with attacks launched on both candidates using funding from labor unions, big tech and other interest groups.
Wahab won 55.57% of the vote in Alameda County and 52.04% of the vote in Santa Clara County, for a total of 53.7% of the vote.
“I’m proud to be the first-ever Afghan American and Muslim elected to the State Legislature,” Wahab said on Twitter.
In a statement, Mei said: “I’m proud of the race we ran, and I want to thank all of my supporters. The negativity and false allegations used in this race were a shame. Moving forward, we all must stand against racism and sexism in our political system.
“I’m honored to serve Fremont as its mayor for another two years.”
State Assembly, District 20
The Assembly District 20 run-off election was also a competitive, and expensive, race.
Nearly $2 million was spent on the campaigns of labor union treasurer Liz Ortega and Dublin City Councilmember Shawn Kumaga. Ortega won 62.15% of the vote.
With incumbent Assemblymember Bill Quirk retiring at the end of the year, the seat representing about 500,000 people was up for grabs. The newly redrawn district covers all of San Leandro, Hayward and Union City, parts of Dublin and Pleasanton, and all of the unincorporated areas of San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland and Castro Valley.
Kumagai conceded the race on Nov. 9, releasing the following statement: “I want to thank all those who supported and worked so hard on behalf of our campaign. I want to congratulate Liz Ortega on her victory and I look forward to helping her address these issues that impact our community and state.”
Four candidates were running to become mayor of San Leandro in a tight race where City Councilmember Bryan Azevedo came out on top, securing 50.73% of the ranked choice vote.
Under ranked choice voting, voters order their candidate preferences. No candidate earned more than 50% of first-choice votes in this election, so second, third, and fourth preference votes on ballots in favor of the poorest performing candidates (Christopher Bammer and Lee Thomas) were transferred to the top two candidates – Azevedo and Juan Gonzalez.
Only 294 votes separated Azevedo and Gonzalez.
The race to represent District 5 on the San Leandro City Council was even tighter, with just 37 votes separating Xouhoa Bowen and runner-up Monique Tate. Bowen squeezed past the 50% threshold with 50.10% of the vote.
Victor Aguilar ran uncontested and will fill the council’s District 3 seat, while Celina Reynes won a three-way race in District 1 with 55.77% of the vote.
“I can’t wait to begin serving with the community in this new role,” Reynes said on Twitter.
“I want to thank my family for their steadfast love and support, and the many volunteers who made this grassroots campaign possible.”
Three City Council seats were on the ballot in Union City. Incumbent Councilmember Jaime Patiño was re-elected in District 2 with 56.44% of the vote, while business owner Jeff Wang won a three-way race in District 3 with 45.68% of the vote. Planning Commissioner Scott Sakakihara secured the District 4 seat, with 62.08% of the vote.
In Fremont, incumbent City Councilmember Yang Shao won the race to keep his seat in District 4 with 56.06% of the vote. His fellow incumbent Jenny Kassan was in a much tighter race in District 3, where she beat Kathy Kimberlin by just 276 votes.
Kimberlin is a field director for Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert. She trailed behind Kassan with 39.88% of the vote, compared to Kassan’s 43.70%. Arif Mohamed, the third candidate in the race, received 16.42% of the vote.
Longtime school board trustee Desrie Campbell will join Kassan and Shao on the council for the first time. Campbell was running against Planning Commissioner Robert Daulton and newcomer Keith Parker. She secured 40.37% of the vote, while Daulton received 37.53% and Parker 22.10%.
Newark residents elected Vice Mayor Mike Hannon to replace longtime Mayor Alan L. Nagy when he retires at the end of this year. Hannon secured 62.96% of the vote, while his opponent Jason Miguel received 37.04% of the vote.
Taking to Twitter, Miguel said he was disappointed with voter turnout in the city. “Though the results weren’t what we wanted, I’m proud considering the turnout. Just two years ago over 17,000 voters cast their ballot for mayor but less than 3,800 cast their ballot this year.”
Miguel works with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and was hoping to be the city’s first Gen Z official. He said he plans to run again in 2024.
Six other candidates were running for Newark City Council seats. Incumbent Councilmember Mike Bucci and state staffer Matthew Jorgens were elected, with 29.54% and 20.88% of the vote, respectively.
Just 455 votes separated Jorgens and Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall, who came in third with 18.34% of the vote.