Alameda City Council candidate Robert Matz’s campaign was thought to be destined for also-ran status. On Election Night, it was anything but. Matz’s campaign flirted with winning the third seat on the City Council for more than week.
On Thursday, he fell 485 votes behind Councilmember Jim Oddie for the final open seat. Only a few thousands votes in Alameda are believed to be uncounted, as of Thursday night. Later, Matz conceded the race to Oddie in a mean-spirited Facebook posting.
“It’s time to face facts. A candidate who was found to have violated our City Charter, and who is currently under a Civil Grand Jury Investigation, will be re-elected to our City Council,” he said of Oddie. “I look at these results, as I’m sure many of you do, and it seems surreal. I don’t understand it, but I must and do accept it.”
An independent investigator’s report deemed Oddie violated the non-interference provision in the City Charter by sending a letter of recommendation using city letterhead to the city manager in favor of a candidate seeking the open fire chief position.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s office last month noted the Alameda County civil grand jury is investigating the matter, but did not specifically suggest Oddie was the target of the inquiry.
Later in the post, Matz added a more magnanimous tone after thanking his supporters and who voted for him. “Congratulations to those fortunate few who have been entrusted with a seat on our City Council,” wrote Matz.
The Alameda City Council race was won by John Knox White and Tony Daysog. Because Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is now the mayor-elect, a third seat to fill out the remaining two years of her council term was opened. This provision in the City Charter allows Oddie, who finished third, to win re-election. However, Oddie will have to run again in 2020.