Election Day 2014

Update 11/5 6:00 AM – 100% of precincts are in and the ranked choice tabulations have been made. The next Oakland mayor is Libby Schaaf, who effectively trounced her rivals at the polls, nearly doubling Incumbent Mayor Jean Quan’s vote total. After RCV was calculated, Schaaf finished the night with 62.79% of the vote. Runner-up was Rebecca Kaplan. Quan was eliminated in the penultimate round.

Measure BB also won with 69.56% of the vote in Alameda County.

Sam Liccardo held on to win the San Jose mayoral job over Dave Cortese, finishing 51-49.

More commentary to come.

Update 11:30 PM – Results are coming back with some needed urgency. Schaaf has extended her lead over Jean Quan from 28.45-17.10 to 28.74-16.39, with Rebecca Kaplan now in third place at 14.36%. 44% of precincts have reported so far. Measure BB is now up 69-31. San Jose’s mayoral race has tightened up with Liccardo leading Cortese 50.9-49.1, a difference of 1,500 votes with 45% of precincts reporting.

Update 10:30 PM – The polls have been closed for over two hours, but results have been coming late, the last major update coming at around 9 PM. In Santa Clara County there have been technical (website) issues. Alameda County appears to have similar problems. I’ll hang tight for another hour before calling it a night. So far Libby Schaaf is ahead in the Oakland mayoral race, though be advised that these are extremely early returns and the ranked choice tabulations are not factored in yet.



Meanwhile, Alameda County Measure BB is ahead 68-32 and Sam Liccardo leads Dave Cortese 51-49 in the San Jose mayoral race.

Update 3:30 PM – San Jose City Council voted 9-1 to approve the A’s land option extension. Stand for San Jose’s law firm, Pillsbury, disagreed with the lease option on CEQA and referendum grounds. City attorney John Boyle clarified that a referendum wasn’t needed and that the EIR was certified. CM Pierluigi Oliverio was the lone no vote, saying that if the A’s wanted the land they should just buy it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Dina-Roberts Wakulczyk

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Dina-Roberts Wakulczyk

Despite the general disinterest in today’s general election, there are some important races that will impact stadium efforts for the A’s and Raiders in the Bay Area. Let’s take a look.

Oakland’s mayoral race is the big one, with 15 candidates including incumbent Jean Quan. A KPIX 5 poll from two weeks ago had council member Rebecca Kaplan first at 19%, fellow CM Libby Schaaf at 17%, and Quan and SF State professor Joe Tuman tied for third at 15%. The Chronicle is reporting that final ballot counts may not happen for a few days, even though they now have the ability to do election night tabulations tonight. In 2010, tabulating the results of the ranked choice vote took the rest of the week to complete. Members of Save Oakland Sports and supporters of Coliseum City have thrown their weight behind Quan, while going against Kaplan, who helped broker the A’s lease extension. Kaplan hasn’t officially stood behind any one concept, though it’s a logical progression to think that she might support a Lew Wolff-offered, A’s-oriented redevelopment plan for the Coliseum. Kaplan had received campaign contributions from Wolff, but chose to return them after questions about impropriety arose. Schaaf and Tuman have been highly critical of the City and the JPA throughout the campaign season, but haven’t offered much in the way of solutions for keeping the pro teams in town. Port commissioner Bryan Parker has remained the most vocal supporter of Howard Terminal for the A’s.

If Quan loses, it’s unclear what happens to Coliseum City. The CEQA/EIR process will continue at least through the 90-day deadline set last month. Kaplan, who had previously considered the Coliseum site the best future place for Oakland sports, remains on the JPA board and could pivot as a “savior” of the plan if she wins. If she doesn’t win she’ll remain in her at-large council seat and on the JPA board. Schaaf is vacating her District 4 seat, so like Quan, if she loses she’ll be out of elected office in Oakland.

As results come in they’ll be posted here. Look for a followup post discussing impacts later tonight or tomorrow.

San Jose also has a mayoral race, though it is more traditional than Oakland’s RCV. The primary was held in June, and as expected the top two candidates were current council member Sam Liccardo and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. Liccardo is being held up as the successor to Chuck Reed and is expected to carry on Reed’s pro-business policies if elected. Cortese, who was also a council member a decade ago, enjoys a great deal of support from labor and is considered the anti-Reed candidate. Both hold differing views on the baseball-to-San Jose effort. Liccardo prefers to continue Reed’s legal challenge of MLB, whereas Cortese has put forth a more conciliatory approach towards baseball. Both are proponents of bringing the A’s to San Jose.

Alameda County is set to vote on Measure BB, the 0.5%, 30-year sales tax hike for transportation projects. The tax would fund $7.785 billion in new projects, from more than $2 billion in largely deferred street maintenance to a Livermore BART extension ($400 million) to Bus Rapid Transit in Oakland ($35 million) to $284 million in improvements to I-880. Also in the package is $40 million for Coliseum City, money that would expand and better integrate the transit hub at the Coliseum BART station. This money is considered key to the success of Coliseum City, since additional privately financed development would be catalyzed by the creation of such a transit center. Two years ago a similar measure, Measure B1, barely missed the two-thirds majority needed for passage. Supporters of BB are vowing not to let such a defeat happen again by throwing greater campaign resources and garnering broader support for the measure. In 2012, Coliseum City basically had to punt while it waited for the next election, effectively delaying planning for nearly two years. With so much uncertainty surrounding Coliseum City’s prospects, another defeat could mean a very big nail in its coffin.

Finally, the City of San Jose’s City Council will vote today on the land option extension on the Diridon ballpark site for the A’s. The option, which is only for part of the fully assembled site, would run at least four years and up to seven at the A’s discretion. The cost of the option is $100,000 for the first four years, with additional years at $25,000. If the A’s exercise the option, they would pay $7 million for those 5 acres, and would have to buy the rest privately. No transaction can happen unless MLB approves a move to San Jose, which it has not done to date.


Watch the top of this post for updates as they occur.

32 thoughts on “Election Day 2014

  1. Although both Cortese and Liccardo are pro-A’s to San Jose, Cortese might have an easier time making it happen, since he won’t have public employee unions complaining about any kind of discount the A’s get from the city.

  2. The Coliseum City project is bigger than any one politician, and could certainly still proceed even if Quan was to lose the election (which she very well could). As long as the majority of the city council is behind the project, it clears one obstacle. It will be very hard for the JPA and County to deny the project if approvals and substantial $$$ are put in front of their faces. And in the interim, I’m sure Quan will push like hell until January to see this deal through as much as she can while still in office.

    • @Steven Riley – There are a lot of “ifs” in your argument. Those “ifs” are why CC is in such a precarious position.

    • Honestly, it’s hard to see Coliseum City, as originally designed, happening with Jean Quan as Mayor, let alone with someone else becoming Mayor with a real easy “reset” button available to them.

      It would be one helluva weird turn of events if the Coliseum site ended up being an A’s centric development. Hell, that’s what Steve Schott wanted in 2001… almost a decade and half later and we are still treading water on this whole thing.

  3. Land option extension approved (see top).

  4. Long time reader, first time poster. As an A’s fan, I just hope we can finally begin to get some clarity on the stadium issues. Now I’m by no means optimistic, but more so hopeful. I do not have a preference as to where a stadium is built, whether it be in SJ or OAK. But the amount of hostility between the Pro-Oakland side and Anywhere in the Bay Area side is confounding. I live in Sacramento, so it’ll be a drive for me either way. I mainly just want to see my team stay in Northern California, and I would like to believe others would agree.

    • You hold the same position as the vast majority of people here: build anywhere in the Bay Area. There are a couple of Oakland-only folks and precisely zero San Jose-only people. I agree that the level of hostility is weird, considering the Oakland-only people don’t have any polar opposites here. They’re just attacking the centrists.

      I would point out that there are plenty of self-described “pro-Oakland” people here, as a subset of the “anywhere in the Bay Area” group. And there are also plenty of “pro-San Jose” people as another subset of the “anywhere in the Bay Area” group.

      This debate is not unlike any other. There are lots of centrists and a very small number of very vocal extremists.

      • Also similar to other debates, the current politicians in power in Oakland pander to the small number of vocal extremists who often times don’t even live in Oakland.

        Let’s hope this election results in putting some adults in charge and we can finally get a new home for the A’s.

    • I’m in Sac to DJ and feel almost the same way.. I’d actually rather it be in Oakland but as you said the hostility over this is ridiculous. Keeping the team in the area is far and away the first priority in my book.

  5. It’s a bit odd to see as one of Jean Quan’s endorsees, listed as “Dr. Death, Forever Oakland and 66th MOB of Raider Nation.” It seems that everything Quan does is tinged with awkwardness. Looking forward to getting some results soon.

  6. schaff has the early lead for oakland mayor from what i’m reading.

    course with this stupid rank voting system where peralta won the most 1st place votes last time out yet lost in the end to quan, who knows who’ll truly win as it’ll probably take another take or two to know who actually wins by the ranking system.

    • Early returns up, updates haven’t been coming in so we’re all left scratching our heads tonight.

      • Peter Lui has got this locked down with the second choice votes… but seriously, imagine being one of the people who finishes behind him.

    • Ranked choice is actually a smart way to deal with elections. People just need to grasp how it works. Having the most first place votes means squat when you don’t even get half the vote and normally not getting that results in a run off, not an automatic election.

  7. I had read the Schaaf interview regarding sports in Oakland earlier today. She seems simultaneously realistic about the A’s being the better option if forced to choose AND also edging towards the delusion surrounding Howard Terminal. That’s a recipe for mixed feelings right there.

  8. she also said in a earlier interview that she understands that wolff views coliseum city as more positive or likely more realistic from the a’s standpoint which she would basically support if that’s the site.

  9. wasn’t kaplan supposed to be the fav to win this thing? so far she’s in what 3rd place. personally didn’t follow the polls at all during this election cycle for the mayoral race so i don’t know if this is a shocker or schaff was truly ahead in the polls heading into tue.

    though i guess considering schaff had more commercials recently on tv, guess she did have a legit shot of winning this thing.

    • Yeah, it looks like it’s going to be Schaff. It also looks like the transportation measure for Alameda County may pass, that will be a help for whatever is built at the coliseum site.

  10. I am willing to bet the new theme song for the Raiders will be George Strait’s “Home In San Antone” because no matter what you think of Libby Schaff’s politics, she has a clear mandate, and it is A’s First. Does it mean the A’s are staying? Ordinarily I would say yes, but the dreaded two words: “Howard’s Terminal” seem to come out of her mouth, and that is something to watch between now and February.

  11. Update 11/5 6:00 AM – 100% of precincts are in and the ranked choice tabulations have been made. The next Oakland mayor is Libby Schaaf, who effectively trounced her rivals at the polls, nearly doubling Quan’s vote total. After RCV was calculated, Schaaf finished the night with 62.79% of the vote. Runner-up was Rebecca Kaplan. Incumbent Jean Quan was eliminated in the penultimate round.

    Measure BB also won with 69.56% of the vote in Alameda County.

    Sam Liccardo held on to win the San Jose mayoral job over Dave Cortese, finishing 51-49.

    More commentary to come.

  12. Well, until the new mayor can lead, the A’s won’t commit or stay where they are. JQ and others could not lead or even think logically.

  13. “I am the best Mayor ever, or something” -Jean Quan (paraphrasing)

    • Definitely doesn’t help the Raiders cause to have Quan out of office. She seemed to be the only one daft enough to think Coliseum City would happen as is. They’ll be in LA (or if that’s blocked San Antonio) by Easter.

  14. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo WILL usher in A’s baseball to our fine city…I GUARANTEE IT! Have a great day all..

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