OAKLAND | MAYOR | Oakland mayoral candidate Joe Tuman has courted the chair of the Alameda County Republican Party over the past year. So has Bryan Parker and Courtney Ruby. The game of political footsie with the city’s small number of conservatives is not surprising; since the trio tends to skew the furthest right on Oakland’s far left spectrum.
GOP Chair Sue Caro, an Oakland resident, has enough problems with trying to rehabilitate her local Republican Party to think about which Democratic mayoral candidate she might settle for, but other conservatives seem to fancy Councilmember Libby Schaaf, she says.
“For some of those in the hills, they’ve known Libby for a long time. They’ve seen her grown up,” says Caro. “To them, she’s ‘Lovely Libby.’”
However, Caro says she does not believe Schaaf or her campaign has made a deliberate attempt to gain conservative's support in Oakland.
Caro doesn’t quite understand the fascination with Schaaf among some Republicans and she doesn’t know which flavor of Democrat she might support on Nov. 4. but she’s leaning toward Tuman.
When Parker was asked about reaching out to Oakland Republicans, he said, “Our campaign is reaching out to all groups of people in Oakland.”
Meanwhile, Caro says most Republicans in Oakland have a clear distaste for Mayor Jean Quan, including a great deal of skepticism toward ranked-choice voting. A common refrain, from some voters, she says, with ranked-choice voting, is how do they vote to make sure Quan doesn’t win re-election?
Republicans in Oakland register in the single digits, but even their minuscule numbers could help decide the mayor's race next Tuesday. Most observers believe the winner of the first round may only have a 1-2 percent advantage going forward in the ranked-choice tabulations.
In addition, a small spread is also expected in the first round that could place candidates finishing anywhere from first to the sixth-place well within contention.