Realtors come to the aid of Oakland city attorney challenger

Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker is facing her deputy, Eli Ferran, in the November election.

The big money continues to flow into Oakland’s elections this fall.

Ride-hailing tech companies are spending $100,000 to defeat Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and East Bay labor unions have poured $343,000 into the race to unseat Councilmember Lynette McElhaney, as of the Sept. 19 campaign finance filing period. 

Now, real estate interests are hoping to take out Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker. The National Association of Realtors spent $105,000 last week in support of her challenger, Oakland deputy city attorney Eli Ferran.

“I have ruffled some very wealthy feathers,” Parker’s campaign said. Parker’s office has successfully prosecuted violations of the city’s rental housing ordinances in recent years, which has likely stoked the Realtors’ ire. 

A majority of the Realtors outlay in support of Ferran’s campaign, $82,000, is earmarked for online advertising. The group also spent $16,000 on polling, and $7,000 for a voter file, according to finance reports.

Parker is seeking re-election for a third time next month. Ferran, a member of the city attorney’s office, is making the uncommon attempt to unseat his boss. Ferran also has family ties to the Oakland City Council. His wife is Councilmember Loren Taylor’s chief of staff.