Inside Baseball: The rules of succession
The results of the November 6 election may not be the final word on Alameda’s elected officials for the next four years, as some are either running or considering a run for another office. But the rules for handling a midterm vacancy differ among Alameda’s different elected bodies.
With Vice Mayor Rob Bonta making a bid for an Assembly seat, it’s possible that Alameda voters could see the top three council candidates on the ballot win a spot on the dais instead of just the two that voters can choose. Alameda’s city charter says that if a vacancy occurs within six months of an election, the next-highest vote-getter in that election wins the seat, as long as they secure 10 percent or more of the votes cast.
Former City Councilman Tony Daysog has pulled nomination papers for a possible run – which he can do despite having served two terms on the council already because, per the city charter, some time has elapsed since he sat on the council last.
If Health Care District Board member Stewart Chen files the paperwork he pulled to run for City Council and voters choose him for a council seat in November – or if Bonta wins his Assembly race and, as third-place finisher, Chen secures that seat – the board will have 60 days to appoint someone to finish his term or to call an election (though the cost of an election would likely encourage them to appoint). The appointment process is one the board followed in 2007 after then-board member Lena Tam was elected to the City Council.
The school board would face similar options – appoint someone or call a special election – under those circumstances, though their elections are governed by the state’s education code (rather than the government code, which lays out rules for special districts like the hospital board’s). But as of Thursday, no sitting school board member has said they plan to run for another seat.
The nomination period for seats on City Council and for the city’s elected treasurer and auditor is open through August 9, and you need to have been a registered voter in Alameda 30 days or more to file. If an incumbent chooses not to run, candidates have until August 15 to file (though the deadline won’t be extended on behalf of outgoing Councilman Doug deHaan, City Clerk Lara Weisiger confirmed).
As of Wednesday night, City Auditor Kevin Kearney had filed his candidacy papers and City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy had pulled his. Councilwoman Beverly Johnson had not yet pulled papers to run again for her seat. Nominating papers for those seats need to be filed with the City Clerk.
Candidates for three open seats on the school board and two on the hospital board must file candidacy papers with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters by August 10, a deadline that is extended to August 15 if incumbents don’t file. All three of the incumbents on the school board have pulled papers for their seats, and Trish Hererra Spencer has declared her candidacy. J. Michael McCormick has pulled papers to retain his hospital board seat, but Jordan Battani has not.