Alameda County Democrats vote to back D.A. Nancy O’Malley’s bid for re-election

Alameda County District Attorney candidates
Pamela Price, center, Nancy O’Malley, right,
with Robin Torello, chair of the Alameda
County Democratic Party.

ALAMEDA COUNTY
–ELECTION 2018–
At one point during the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee meeting Wednesday in San Leandro, an elected member of the group yelled “bullshit!” in response to one of District Attorney Nancy O’Malley‘s answers. O’Malley’s upstart opponent this June, Pamela Price, later she O’Malley is lying about her record in opposition of a previous statewide initiative to reduce sentencing for some low-level crimes.

But the tense, and often frenetic back-and-forth between O’Malley and Price during the 20-minute forum failed to sway the typically progressive central committee with O’Malley winning the influential endorsement of the county Democratic Party.

There were signs that support Wednesday night for O’Malley’s re-election were to be expected. The response to her introduction was possibly one of the most supportive she has received at any other venue during this primary campaign season. Granted, O’Malley said some of those in attendance not only support her candidacy but also work for her in the district attorney’s office.

Price, who has won the hearts and minds of progressives in the county, apparently sensed the county’s official backing was unlikely. During her opening and closing statements, Price strongly urged the central committee to “level the field” and issue no endorsement in the race. To do so, would have been a striking rebuke to O’Malley, but it did not happen.

The final vote tally was not released, but under the central committee’s rules, a candidate must win 60 percent of the vote to gain the endorsement. There will be no runoff in this two-candidate June primary when a simple majority of the vote is needed for victory.

Alameda County Democrats also voted to endorse Phong La for the open Alameda County Assessor seat, but offered no endorsement in the similarly open Alameda County Auditor’s race between Melissa Wilk and Irella Blackwood.

In the suddenly contentious race for the only contested Alameda County Superior Court judicial seat, the county Democrats chose incumbent Judge Tara Flanagan over the challenger, retired public defender Karen Katz. Judicial races in Alameda County are almost always highly sedate affairs. Partly, due to the fact the State Bar encourages candidates to avoid attacks on their opponents, both professionally and personal. Katz, however, slammed Flanagan for her record of poor courtroom treatment towards the accused, attorney’s and prospective jurors.

In addition, all five of the ballot measures appearing in various jurisdictions across Alameda County also received support. They include the Alameda County childcare and early education tax, Oakland’s library parcel tax and the Bay Area Regional Measure 3 that seeks to increase bridge tolls by $3 by 2025.

OTHER ENDORSEMENTS
➤Alameda County Supervisor – District 2 Richard Valle; District 3 Wilma Chan
➤Alameda County Treasurer/Tax Collector – Henry Levy
➤Alameda County Superintendent of Schools – Karen Monroe
➤Alameda County Board of Education Trustee – District 1 Joaquin Rivera; District 4 Aisha Knowles
➤Zone 7 Water District Director – Dennis Gambs, Olivia Sanwong
➤Union Sanitary District Director – Ward 3 Jennifer Toy

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