PLEASANTON//SPECIAL ELECTION | Kathy Narum, a commissioner on the Pleasanton Planning Commission has won a seat on its City Council Tuesday night, according to unofficial final results from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Narum led the four-person vote-by-mail election with 39.58 percent of the 11,812 ballots cast over the past month.

David Miller, regarded as the Tea Party candidate, finished second with 26.93 percent, followed by Olivia Sanwong, the lone Democrat, at 17.17 percent and Mark Hamilton with 15.96 percent.

The Pleasanton City Council voted earlier this year to institute a vote-by-mail election at a cost of $250,000 to replace the open seat on the five-person council after former Councilmember Jerry Thorne won election last November to mayor. Just 28.13 percent of ballots were cast, according to the registrar.

Narum, also a Republican, will serve out the remaining 18 months of Thorne’s term, but to the consternation of Alameda County Democrats, conservatives on the Pleasanton City Council now hold a 4-1 advantage. Councilmember Cheryl Cook-Kallio is the remaining Democrat.

Kathy Narum…………..4,643…39.58%
David Miller………….3,159…26.93%
Olivia Sanwong………..2,014…17.17%
Mark Hamilton…………1,873…15.96%

UPDATE: The Alameda County Registrar of Voters on Friday certified the final results for last Tuesday’s special election in Pleasanton. Changes were made to this article to reflect the news totals and percentage of voters who cast a ballot.

Categories: David Miller, election, Kathy Narum, Olivia Sanwong, Pleasanton, special election, VBM

7 replies

  1. Over 60% of the voters were against this developer backed candidate and yet she's elected. This is precisely what's wrong with plurality voting! Please bring IRV to Pleasanton, or at least have a top 2 run-off so someone can get a majority of the votes cast. IRV is cheaper, because you can decide majority in one election instead of two. Pleasanton is still in the stone age.


  2. IRV brought us Jean Quan who is highly incompetent.


  3. Better than Don Perata, who was corrupt. Oakland is very much in favor of IRV because it assures majority vote. We don't want someone to win with less than 50%. IRV assures 50%+1 and saves money for the city. I voted for Kaplan but voted for Quan 2nd. A majority didn't want Perata just like a huge majority didn't want Narum. She won with 39+% of the vote–how is that Democratic?


  4. Representative democracy (or, as the Constitution actually describes it, “republican form of government”) generally and historically holds that whomever receives the most votes wins — even if 10 candidates split the vote. There's never been a history or tradition of 50%+1 being a requirement for winning an election.

    I'm not a Pleasanton resident but seems to me the only way to defeat Narum — by electoral math — would've been for two of the three other candidates to form an alliance. Now, Tea Party + Olivia Sanwong was never gonna happen. But the fourth candidate. . . ? Hard to say.


  5. Bill Clinton won his first Presidential election with less than 50% of the vote due to third party candidate Ross Perot taking 19% of the vote that year, and the remaining votes going to George HW Bush.


  6. Pleasanton voter turnout was only 25% which is higher than many other local special elections this year. Still, with 75% of voters in Pleasanton not voting, it's impossible to say that the majority do not support Narum.


  7. So if only 25% of the eligible voters actually voted, and she got less than 40%, she actually won with less than 10% of the eligible votes. What a wonderful system this is. Bring on IRV! We just elected another Republican developer funded rat.


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