After nearly two weeks of ballot counting, former Rep. Ron Dellums emerged as the winner of the Oakland mayor’s race Saturday when his chief rival said he would not challenge the election results.
City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente called Dellums at home to concede, said Mike Healy, a spokesman for Dellums’ campaign.
“Ignacio was very gracious,” Healy said. “He said he wants to work with Ron for a better Oakland, and that it was a great campaign.”
De La Fuente campaign officials would not confirm that he made the concession call, but they scheduled a news conference at his Oakland home at 3:30 p.m.
The final ballot count released late Friday showed Dellums winning the simple majority needed to avoid a November runoff against De La Fuente.
Dellums secured 50.2 percent of the vote, while De La Fuente was in second place with 33.0 percent, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel was a distant third with 13.1 percent. The three remaining candidates finished with less than 4 percent combined.
The county’s return to paper ballots and a shortage of optical scanners to process them slowed the final count. Alameda County returned to low-tech voting after its new touch-screen machines failed to meet federal and state standards.
Both Democrats campaigned to replace former Gov. Jerry Brown, who was termed out of the job and won the Democratic nomination for attorney general last week.
Dellums, a former Marine who once headed the powerful House Armed Services Committee during his 27 years in Congress, cast himself as a bridge-builder who could unite Oakland’s diverse communities and find solutions to its crime and education problems.
The new mayor starts the job on Jan. 1.