Oakland Mayoral Race: Sheng Thao Declares Victory, Loren Taylor Concedes

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Oakland has a new mayor: Sheng Thao.

Thao released a statement on Monday evening upon the completion of ballot counting in the mayoral race that declared her the winner.

"It's been a long journey, and I'm incredibly honored by the trust the voters have placed in me," said Thao in the statement.

Thao was elected through ranked-choice voting in a close race, eventually winning by 682 votes. Thao secured 50.3 percent of the votes to Loren Taylor's 49.7 percent.

Taylor on Tuesday official conceded, saying, "While it hurts to admit it, I do not see a viable path to making up the 682 votes needed to alter the outcome of this election."

Oakland Mayor-elect Sheng Thao speaks with NBC Bay Area's Gia Vang to discuss her goals and how she got into politics.

Both Thao and Taylor are city councilmembers, with Thao serving as the Council President Pro Tem. 

She congratulated Taylor on the "strong" campaign he ran against her.

"Councilmember Taylor and his family have been making a difference for this city for generations and we owe him a real debt of gratitude," said Thao.

Thao said that being elected mayor was humbling, adding that 15 years ago she was living in her car with her baby.

"I've been through a lot to get to this moment, and have had so many people lift me up in order to get here," she said.

The mayor-elect outlined her goals, which include a "comprehensive" public safety plan that will "double down" on violence prevention programs. She also pledged to make Oakland the most proactive city in the state on housing and homelessness. Thao also plans to bring the Green New Deal to Oakland and support small businesses.

"I've never felt more hopeful about Oakland's future," she said, "or more determined to lead the fight for it. I'm excited to get to work building a safer, more affordable, more just Oakland we know is possible in the months and years ahead."

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