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Friday, August 12, 2016

Five candidates on the ballot for two open Alameda City Council seats

ALAMEDA | The ballot is set in Alameda. Five candidates, including two incumbent city councilmembers will vie for a pair of seats on the Alameda City Council this November. In addition, races for city auditor and treasurer will be in play this fall.

Unlike most parts of the East Bay where the filing deadline for candidates and measure is Friday, Alameda's filing deadline was pushed up a day. City Hall is closed Friday.

Similar to recent elections in Alameda, the field of candidates is again sparse. Two years ago, just two candidates ran for mayor, while just three challenged for two open seats on the council.

Councilmembers Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Tony Daysog will seek re-election to their seats. Alameda's council elections are at-large, meaning, the top two vote-getters win.

In addition, former Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam is hoping for a return to dais in Alameda after a two-year absence. Tam was termed out of office in 2014 after 8 years on the council.

Newcomer Malia Vella, backed with support from Alameda County Democrats and labor, is viewed as one of the front runners for one of two seats in a race certain to focus on the city's rent crisis. Among the field of candidates, Vella's public comments on rents likely position her as the most pro-renter in the race.

At the other end of the spectrum, another newcomer to politics, Jennifer Roloff, is expected to run a formidable campaign with the support of the Island's business community and landlords' interests.

In the past, long-time City Auditor Kevin Kearney and City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy have run unopposed. That will change this November. Former Alameda school board member Mike McMahon will challenge Kearney, while Alameda financial planner Jeff Bratzler will face Kennedy.

At the school board level, six candidates qualified for the ballot. Three seats are open this fall, but just one incumbent, appointed school board member Gray Harris, is only the ballot. Current member Barbara Khan is not seeking re-election and another appointee, Philip Hu, did not file for re-election to his appointed seat.

Others on the ballot include Ardella Dailey, Matt Hettich, Dennis Popalardo, Anne McKereghan, and Jennifer Williams.

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