Don Perata Says He Will Not Fight To Be Oakland's Mayor

By Sajid Farooq
|  Thursday, Nov 11, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM PDT
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Don Perata Says He Will Not Fight To Be Oakland's Mayor

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Don Perata, right.

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Oakland may have a new mayor and the man who won the most votes isn't it.

City Councilwoman Jean Quan defeated former State Sen. Don Perata with 50.98 percent of the vote to Perata's 49.02 percent.

Perata led Quan 35 percent to 24 percent on Election Night, based on first-choice votes alone. But Quan won the ranked-choice runoff, which asked voters to pick their top three candidates in order..

But Thursday, Perata conceded victory to Quan. Perata said he would step back into the role of a citizen because the results were clear. He added that he would not contest the final tally.

"I believe I know how to fix what's broken," Perata said. "Oakland needs a leader...I still believe in that Oakland, a united Oakland, where children are not murdered in the streets."

Perata said he had not called Quan yet but he would soon to congratulate her.

"I will do whatever she'd like me to," he said. "Help in any way."

Despite bowing out graciously, Perata showed that he was not happy with the result. He said had the vote been part of a "normal election," he would have been the landslide winner in reference to the rank choice system used this year for the first time in Oakland. 

There were early reports that Perata was considering a lawsuit to dispute the results but he decided to take the higher road.

"If this were a normal election I would have been a landslide winner," he said. "I said all along I wasn't sure how all this would unfold. I didn't understand it (rank choice) enough."

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