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Dellums Leads Oakland Mayor’s Race

June 8, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Several thousand absentee and provisional ballots in the Oakland mayor’s race remained uncounted early Thursday as former Rep. Ron Dellums, the top vote-getter, waited to see if he had the majority needed to avoid a November runoff.

The final count was expected to drag on for several days because of a return to paper ballots in Alameda County.

By the end of the day, Dellums had 50.1 percent to City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente’s 33.1 percent. City councilwoman Nancy Nadel had 12.9 percent.

The Associated Press had called the race for Dellums late Wednesday morning, but the decision was later reversed after it became clear that thousands of absentee and provisional ballots still needed to be counted.

Guy Ashley, a spokesman for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, estimated the number of uncounted ballots at 8,700.

The former congressman declined to declare victory Wednesday, and his opponent refused to concede.

``We don’t want to come out and declare victory is ours and it comes out there’s a glitch,″ said Dellums spokesman Clifford Williams. ``We’re playing the safe card here. We’re not going to jump the gun on anything.″

Larry Tramutola, De La Fuente’s campaign manager, said there were enough uncounted ballots to swing the election.

``If there’s anything Florida should have taught us, it’s not to jump to conclusions before all the ballots have been counted,″ Tramutola said. ``There is not a neat bow to put on this.″

The three Democrats clashed in the campaign to replace former Gov. Jerry Brown, who could not run for re-election because of term limits. He won the Democratic nomination for attorney general on Tuesday.

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