OAKLAND: Pamela Price is running for mayor

Pamela Price in Alameda last February. PHOTO/Zac Goldstein

During her run earlier this year for Alameda County district attorney Pamela Price used a message of social equity and a forceful critique of law enforcement to put a serious scare into incumbent D.A. Nancy O’Malley.

Although Price’s rhetoric may have fallen flat in many parts of Alameda County, her words acted as a clarion call in Oakland, where Price outpaced O’Malley in large portions of the city.

It’s likely a reason why Price filed an intent Tuesday to challenge the re-election of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf  this November.

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Pamela Price at a candidate forum last May in Oakland with Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

Rumors of Price entering the mayoral race this fall were increasing in recent days. In some cases, speculation arose from an email Price sent over the weekend to supporters to advertise a planning meeting for her Real Justice Political Action Committee.

Price is the fourteenth candidate to file an intention to run against Schaaf. The filing deadline is Aug. 10.

Before Price entered the field, Schaaf’s top challenger was viewed as Cat Brooks, a community organizer, who like Price, has long been a critic of the Oakland Police Department, and growing inequality in the city, among other issues common among them.

Oakland, like Berkeley and San Leandro, operate municipal elections using Ranked-Choice Voting. Under the system in which voters rank their top three choices, a 1-2 pairing of Price and Brooks could represent a formidable challenge to Schaaf’s re-election.

But campaign financing is also likely to be a big issue for determining the outcome of the November election. It is not clear whether Price, whose fundraising record during her campaign for district attorney was a bit spotty, can attract the kind of donor pool needed to come close to Schaaf’s well-financed campaign.

In addition, another question is whether Price can benefit from outside independent expenditure committees like the group funded by progressive billionaire activist George Soros that put a significant late charge into Price’s race against O’Malley.

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