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1998 Oakland mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oakland mayoral election, 1998
Flag of Oakland, California.svg

← 1994 June 2, 1998 2002 →
Jerry Brown (2003).JPG
Candidate Jerry Brown Ed Blakely Shannon Reeves
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
Popular vote 48,129 12,226 5,679
Percentage 58.9% 14.9% 6.9%

Ignacio De La Fuente at Make Oakland Better Now 2011-02-20 (1).jpg
Candidate Ignacio De La Fuente Mary King
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
Popular vote 5,509 4,618
Percentage 6.7% 5.6%

Mayor before election

Elihu Harris

Elected Mayor

Jerry Brown

The 1998 Oakland mayoral election was held on June 2, 1998 to elect the mayor of Oakland, California. It saw the election of Jerry Brown, the former Governor of California, as mayor.

Brown won an outright majority in the first round of the election, forgoing the need for a runoff.[1]

Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan.



Incumbent mayor Elihu Harris opted against running for a third term.[10]

Brown entered what was already a crowded mayoral field in late October of 1997, instantly becoming the race's frontrunner.[10] A poll published in The Montclarion right before he formally entered the race had showed Brown garnering 47% in a hypothetical race.[10]

Brown identified himself to be an independent, having declared himself to have left the Democratic Party.[11]

Brown ran under the campaign slogan "Oaklanders First".[11] He campaign actively, holding many events.[11]

Brown was endorsed by, among others, former Berkeley, California mayor Gus Newport.[8]

Brown was the only white candidate running in the race.[11] Oakland was a majority minority city.[12] Brown won a majority of the black vote.[8]

Brown was heavily anticipated to win the election.[11]

While Oakland had a weak mayor form of government, Brown was also campaigning to change this. He supported Measure X, a measure on the ballot in November of 1998 which would change the city's model of government to a strong mayor for a period of 6 years. Ultimately, in November, Oakland's electorate voted by a landslide margin of 3 to 1 in support of Measure X, switching the city to a strong mayor system of governance prior to Brown taking office.[13][14] Years later, in 2004, a referendum permanently extending Measure X later was passed, after failing to pass in 2002, making permanent the city's shift to the strong mayor model of governance.[14]


Candidate Votes %
Jerry Brown 48,129 58.9
Ed Blakely 12,226 14.9
Shannon F. Reeves 5,679 6.9
Ignacio De La Fuente 5,509 6.7
Mary V. King 4,618 5.6
Ces Butner 2,222 2.7
Audrey Rice Oliver 1,245 1.5
Leo Bazile 997 1.2
Hugh E. Bassette 518 0.6
Maria G. Harper 329 0.4
Hector Reyna 207 0.2


  1. ^ Bruni, Frank (June 4, 1998). "PRIMARIES '98: THE MAYOR-ELECT; Jerry Brown Wins, but, Hey, No Big Deal". New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Chip (April 28, 2001). "Leo Bazile misused son's settlement / Sad end to career of a firebrand / State Bar forces Bazile to leave law". SFGate. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "Mayor; City of Oakland Voter Information". Smart Voter. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ces Butner President, Port of Oakland". Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Mobley, Esther (May 10, 2017). "Who is Ces Butner? Speakeasy's new owner has ties to Anheuser-Busch". SFGate. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  6. ^ Johnson, Chip (December 5, 2006). "Oakland urban planner who sought leadership will head New Orleans recovery team". SFGate. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  7. ^ a b DelVecchio, Rick; Writer, Chronicle Staff (August 16, 1998). "Blacks and Brown / That Jerry Brown ran for mayor of Oakland this year was a surprise to many. That Oakland was ready to give him the job is a bigger story". SFGate. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Jerry Brown's No-Nonsense New Age for Oakland". City Journal. 1999. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Hector Reyna never won, but he was no loser". East Bay Times. October 31, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Barabak, Mark Z.; La Ganga, Maria L. (October 29, 1997). "Jerry Brown Enters Race for Oakland Mayor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e West, Paul (May 28, 1998). "Jerry Brown as Oakland's mayor? Champion: The idealistic former governor and presidential hopeful has found a city where he can make a difference -- small enough to get things done, big enough to be a national model". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Jerry Brown's years as Oakland mayor set stage for political comeback". San Jose Mercury News. August 29, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  13. ^ DelVecchio, Rick; Holtz, Debra Levi (November 4, 1998). "Measure X Victory for Jerry Brown / Strong-mayor initiative OKd by Oakland voters". SFGate. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Svara, James H.; Watson, Douglas J. (2010). More than Mayor or Manager: Campaigns to Change Form of Government in America's Large Cities. Georgetown University Press. pp. 121–138. ISBN 978-1-58901-620-0. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  15. ^ "OAKLAND MAYOR". Alameda County. June 11, 1998. Archived from the original on January 3, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 13:20
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