Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, left, endorsed Nancy
Skinner over another Democrat, Sandre Swanson.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Monday she's is backing Skinner’s over another former Democratic Assemblymember Sandre Swanson. The endorsement could be a pivotal moment in a race pitting two strong progressives with extensive resumes in public service, in addition, to testing Schaaf’s rising popularity.
A recent poll showed Oaklanders overwhelming approve of their mayor’s job performance. The poll also showed the city supports the mayor’s primary focus on education and public safety--two issues some view as Skinner's strengths. In addition, almost half of the Ninth State Senate District’s voters reside in Oakland.
“I am positively thrilled to have the support of a progressive and creative leader like Mayor Libby Schaaf. She is bringing Oakland together as never before to solve local problems," said Skinner, in a statement.
Unsurprisingly, a statement from Skinner’s campaign Monday morning trumpeted Schaaf’s support for some of Skinner’s legislative actions regarding Oakland schools and getting guns and ammunition off the streets.
Through the early endorsement season, the contest has been highlighted by Swanson’s success in receiving support from nearly every big-name Democrat in the district, including Rep. Barbara Lee, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and State Sen. Loni Hancock, who will be termed out of the senate seat next year. Labor unions have also gravitated toward Swanson, but Skinner’s campaign still holds a significant early fundraising advantage to counter Swanson’s roster of endorsements.
Democrat Katherine Welch, a Piedmont education advocate, and San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney, a Republican, are also in the June primary race which most observers believe will come down to a grueling rematch between Skinner and Swanson next November.