Barbara Lee is unopposed, but has five official write-in candidates, including popular Oakland adult store owner

Rep. Barbara Lee

East Bay Rep. Barbara Lee is running unopposed in the June primary. But five candidates, including the owner of a popular Oakland adult shop, have qualified as official write-in candidates. Two other East Bay primary contests featuring unopposed incumbents also attracted official write-in candidates.

Nina Feelmore, the owner of Feelmore Adult Gallery on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, said she became a write-in candidate for Lee’s 13th Congressional District seat not out of any opposition to the incumbent’s progressive stances, but as a protest of mainstream politics.

“This isn’t about Barbara Lee,” said Feelmore, “This is about the future of politics, and Ms. Lee is going to retire at some time.” Feelmore, whose given name is Neena Joiner (also accepted by the registrar as a qualified name), was a delegate from the district to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“We’re going to have to do things different,” she said of the state of political discourse. “Music has changed. Television has changed. Politics needs to change. It’s also about not being lazy and not taking votes for granted.”

Feelmore Nina
Nina Feelmore was a 2016 delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Curiously, four other write-in candidates qualified in Lee’s race, including Republican Jeanna Solnordal, Green Party Laura Wells, American Independent Vincent May, Libertarian Party James Eyer.

Voters can certainly write-in whatever name they want on their ballots, but only candidates who are certified by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters will be counted when the results are tabulated Tuesday night.

Despite, discussions among some Oakland progressives for qualifying a protest challenger to opposed Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern on June 5, none surfaced, according to the registrar’s list. Ahern does not have an official opponent next Tuesday.

Twentieth District Assemblymember Bill Quirk is running unopposed for the first time since his election in 2012. The Alameda County Republican Party’s Joseph Grcar is a certified write-in candidate. In roughly the same area, Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle is also unopposed this June. Elizabeth Ames is the write-in candidate.

View the entire list, along with variations of each name accepted by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

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