The East Bay’s largest progressive group is backing a number of candidates running insurgent campaign against Oakland incumbents for the mayor’s race and two council matchups.
The Wellstone Renewal Club is apparently not immune from the current zeitgeist surrounding far left candidates in the state and some parts of the country.
The group also endorsed Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles in the hotly contested 15th Assembly District race with fellow Democrat Buffy Wicks, they announced Tuesday night.
But they passed on endorsing Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland District 2 Councilmember Abel Guillen, and District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks. Each is seeking re-election this fall.
Instead, Wellstone members backed long-time activist Cat Brooks for mayor over Schaaf; housing advocate Nikki Fortunato Bas in District 2 instead of Guillen; Loren Taylor and Natasha Middleton in District 6 over Desley Brooks.
Sheng Thao, the chief of staff for at-large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, received the nod in the open District 4 seat being vacated by Councilmember Anne Campbell Washington, as did Nayeli Maxson, executive director of the Alliance for Community Development of the San Francisco Bay Area.
In Berkeley, Wellstone members chose to endorse Igor Tregub for the open District 1 seat left open after Councilmember Linda Maio announced she would not seek re-election. In District 4, the endorsement went Councilmember Kate Harrison, who won a special election last year.
In the open District 7 seat left vacant by Councilmember Kriss Worthington, the club made no endorsement among candidates Aiden Hill, Rigel Robinson, and Ces Rosales. However, in District 8, the group chose Mary Kay Lacey over the incumbent, Lori Droste.