|Joe Tuman PHOTO/Steven Tavares|
OAKLAND | MAYOR | The Oakland mayoral race just got personal. Following a candidates forum hosted by the Alameda County Democratic Party Thursday night, Mayor Jean Quan responded to a comment challenger Joe Tuman had made about her driving.
When moderator, former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris, specifically asked about the number of staff members their office would need, Tuman said, “I think we’re going to have to look at what we’re working with in terms of the budget. I can promise you I don’t need any more than a secretary and I don’t need a driver.”
Tuman was referring to a spate of new stories last June that followed Quan being photographed using her cell phone while driving. Days later she was involved in a car accident that some media outlets initially speculated may have been caused by Quan again driving while using her phone.
However, an Oakland police department investigation said it was unclear whether either driver was using their phones at the time of the collision.
Quan immediately followed Tuman, but did not respond to the remark, although she appeared momentarily flustered by the comment.
Following the nearly three-hour forum, Quan was asked about the Tuman’s comment, which was also the only negative statement made by any of the eight candidates participating in Thursday’s event.
“He hit a dog in his neighborhood,” said Quan. “I mean really?
Quan added she was surprised the media did not focus more thoroughly on Tuman’s incident earlier
this year that resulted in his car running over a dog without its leash. Tuman called it “an unfortunate accident,” but Quan campaign insinuated Tuman was speeding and ran a stop sign.
Regarding her own accident last June on the intersection of 26th and Market streets, Quan said she was shocked following the car crash that some people were out to get her. “I was very sad about this,” she said. “I was actually very happy to just be alive.”