Ten people are now on the ballot for mayor of Oakland following a decision by City Attorney Barbara Parker to allow Allyssa Victory to join the race, the city clerk’s office and Victory said Monday.
Victory is on the ballot because she challenged the city over her endorser signatures, which the city mistook for nomination signatures. Once the mistake was cleared up Victory was added to the ballot.
Election law requires potential candidates to file completed paperwork by Aug. 12. But the clerk’s office initially told potential candidates that the deadline was Aug. 17.
The clerk’s office called the candidates, including current City Councilmember Sheng Thao, on the afternoon of Aug. 12 to tell them the deadline was 5 p.m. that day.
With about three hours left in the day, Carter was unable to amass the signatures she needed. If she had until Aug. 17 Carter said she would have been able to collect the 50 to 100 needed to qualify.
Soo said the same thing. The weekend of Aug. 13 and 14 would have made the difference.
For those candidates, the only recourse is the court system, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.
Carter said she will not challenge the clerk’s mistake following advice from her attorney. She put her support behind Victory on Monday.
Soo said he considering his options and checking on the cost of legal action.
“I’m disappointed,” said Carter who is a teacher in Oakland. “I do feel disenfranchised.” She may run again. She said the error by the clerk’s office took the “steam” out of her campaign.
“My political future is bright, so I plan to keep my options open for public office,” she said.
City Councilmember Carroll Fife said it was Parker who made the decision initially to keep Victory off the ballot.
“I’m glad they did the right thing,” Fife said. “She (Victory) brings a unique perspective.” Victory will be listed on the ballot as Allyssa Victory Villanueva.
Fife said the clerk’s office is understaffed with just one person for the city’s election process.
One of the candidates that is appearing on the ballot, Seneca Scott, said he is upset that names on the ballot may be reordered after the latest addition to the race.
Scott’s name now appears first, according the clerk’s office.
“I’m thrilled that Ms. Victory is on the ballot,” Scott said by phone, but added “I’m livid right now” over the potential reordering of the ballot.