Former Alameda Vice Mayor Lena Tam was leading Tuesday night in the race to fill the Alameda County Board of Supervisors seat vacated by the late Wilma Chan, according to final unofficial results.

Lena Tam is a candidate for District 3 Alameda County Supervisor. (Photo by Cedric Cheng/Cheng Design via Bay City News)

In the two-candidate race, Tam had just over 55 percent of the vote compared to Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s 44.9 percent.

Tam said in an interview that she has a history of collaboration, which in her opinion is key for a county supervisor. Tam aims to address community safety, homelessness and mental health care access if she is elected.

Tam is the daughter of immigrants and said she can provide a voice for the immigrant community because she is bilingual. Nearly 34 percent of the county population was Asian as of last year, according to an estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Chan was Tam’s role model, Tam said, adding that she hopes, if elected, that she can be as good of a facilitator as Chan was.

Chan was fatally struck by a vehicle in Alameda on Nov. 3, 2021, and Dave Brown, her former chief of staff, was chosen to fill her seat following her death.

Kaplan has been on the Oakland City Council since 2009 as an at-large member representing all Oakland residents.

Kaplan’s first priority will be homelessness, if elected, followed by job training and student loan forgiveness for frontline essential jobs in medicine, mental health and infrastructure maintenance and then gun crime.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.