As far as second or third acts go, this would be quite a stunner. Former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is mulling a run for the open 15th Assembly District seat being vacated next year by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, according to sources with knowledge of her inquiries.
In recent weeks, Quan’s husband, Dr. Floyd Huen
, reached out to a member of Thurmond’s inner circle and acknowledged his wife’s interest in running in next June’s primary, sources say. Quan also put out feelers to others in the East Bay politics, they say.
One of Quan’s long-time supporters acknowledged this week that Quan was mulling a run for the Assembly, but added they believed those discussions occurred months ago and that she would not go through with a possible comeback to East Bay politics.
Although Thurmond only announced his decision in April to forego a third term in the Assembly for a campaign for the state superintendent of public instruction, many East Bay political insiders we’re well aware of his intentions as early as late last year.
Currently, there are four candidates who have filed an intent to run in the 15th District that covers Richmond, Berkeley, and North Oakland. They are Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb
, Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles
, political consultant Buffy Wicks
, and East Bay MUD Board Director Andy Katz
A number of other candidates including Emeryville Mayor Dianne Martinez and Berkeley school board member Judy Appel are reportedly interested in joining the race.
But the addition of Quan would instantly make her the most well-known candidate in the field, although, also the most divisive. Quan’s decades in public office includes stints on the Oakland school board, the City Council, and four years as mayor from 2010-2014.
Quan’s tenure as mayor though rankled progressives for her crackdown on Occupy Oakland, while also upsetting members of the business community who believe she didn’t do enough to protect the city was continuous and sometimes violent protests. Quan’s administration also suffered from the ravages of the Great Recession and eventually lost her bid for re-election to Libby Schaaf.
On Monday night, Quan attended the Oakland City Council’s special budget meeting and offered her opinion on how to best handle the police department’s expansive budget. but not before the city clerk harangued her over whether she had submitted a speaker’s slip beforehand.