Alameda Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy
Ashcraft announced Tuesday her campaign
for mayor.

Touting years of public service along with a record of consensus-building, Alameda Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft officially announced Tuesday that she will challenge incumbent Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer this November.

“I’m running for Mayor, because I know the expertise and skills I’ve developed over 16 years of public service bring a valuable and fresh perspective to our city,” Ezzy Ashcraft said in a
statement. “I think of my parents, two working people, who were able to save enough money for the down payment on a house by the time I was in middle school. Today, many Alamedans struggle to pay their rent and rising housing costs are driving people from our city. We can do better.”

Ezzy Ashcraft intends to focus her campaign on helping ease the city’s rental housing crisis, transit concerns, and continuing the process of redeveloping Alameda Point, among other issues. “Marilyn knows how to get results,” according to her press release. “As Mayor, Marilyn would provide the dignity and dedication the office requires.”

The announcement comes as no surprise. Ezzy Ashcraft’s name as a mayoral challenger has been bandied about Alameda for at least two years. During the same period she and Spencer have often sparred during council meetings over varying topics, but also over seemingly esoteric issues.

In a profile earlier this year in Alameda Magazine, more than suggested she would run for mayor later this year. Echoing Tuesday’s announcement, Ezzy Ashcraft told the magazine, “I feel like I’ve got the background. I know the city—six years on the planning board, now five years on the city council. We’ve got to plan for our future. You can’t turn Alameda back into the city it was 50 years ago, but we can grow and get better.”

When asked to respond to a comment Spencer previously made about “being a better mayor” than Ashcraft “any day of the week, she responded, “We can do better. That’s what I would say,” before adding, “She’s complicated. I’ll leave it at that.”

The addition of Ezzy Ashcraft to the mayoral race might make City Council meetings seems like candidates forum before long. Councilmember Frank Matarrese told the East Bay Citizen last month that he is also running for mayor. And there may be more. Councilmember Malia Vella is also reportedly eyeing a run for mayor, too.

A large number of sitting councilmembers running for mayor, however, is not unique in Alameda. In 2010, three of the five members of the City Cuncil ran for mayor, including Matarrese, and then-councilmembers Doug de Haan, and the eventually winner, Marie Gilmore.