Guillen Showing Strong Interest in Oakland’s District 2 Seat

Abel Guillen

ELECTION 2014 | OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen may add his name to the list of candidates considering a run for the Oakland City Council District 2 seat being vacated by Council President Pat Kernighan.

“I’m strongly considering the race,” said Guillen. “I’m talking to community and business leaders and most importantly my family.”

He would become the third candidate in the race and likely early frontrunner. Former newscaster Dana King announced her candidacy this week. Sokham Mao, a member of the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board, entered the race late last year.

Guillen was elected to the Peralta Community College Board of Trustee in 2006. His work on the college board may delight Oakland progressives starving for a clear voice on the City Council. More than two years ago, in the midst of Occupy Oakland, Guillen led a movement calling for the community college district to transfer its assets from big banks blamed for the Great Recession to smaller community banks and credit unions. Last week, the same board voted to divest itself of holdings in fossil fuel companies over the next five years.

A potential run for the Oakland City Council would follow a close, but unsuccessful run in 2012 for Oakland’s 18th Assembly District seat. Guillen lost to Rob Bonta by less than 1,500 votes, yet most observers believe Guillen’s political star rose significantly despite the disappointing result.

Note: a correction was made to the number of votes Bonta defeated Guillen by in 2012.

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