OAKLAND — The city’s latest and final November election results were confirmed Monday many have already finished: Sheng Thao is the next mayor of Oakland.

The 37-year-old UC Berkeley graduate and one-term city council member will replace outgoing mayor Libby Schaaf with 50.3% of the vote to narrowly surpass Schaaf’s support for Alderman Loren Taylor, who received 49.7%.

Thao’s massive financial support from trade unions and support among progressives seems to have paid off for Taylor, another one-term council member to win Schaaf’s support.

Monday’s final set of results added 715 eligible ballots from Oakland voters, bringing the total vote count for the election to 125,410 and ending the full count after Alameda County’s electoral secretary missed the finish line last Friday.

On Monday, the registry office carried out a full audit of the ballots, and workers manually counted 1% of all votes cast to see if they matched what their machines reported.

Oakland’s ranked voting format, which election officials said did not contribute to the county’s slow entry of results, helped shape the outcome of the race.

Taylor won almost 1,600 more votes than Thao, making her the second mayor-elect after Jean Quan in 2010 to fail to secure a large number of voters.

And she received a huge helping hand from ACLU lawyer Allyssa Victory – almost 60% of Victory voters chose Thao as their second choice.

“Our voters’ ranking choices were critical to the final outcome of this race,” the Victory campaign said in a statement after the final results were announced. “We’re most proud of every single person we’ve given the vote to, new partnerships and coalitions, and an enhanced vision for Oakland for all.”

Neither Thao nor Taylor declared winners or losers after Friday’s results showed that Thao was in the lead. But with so few ballots in the entire county—only a fraction of which were likely cast by Oakland voters—the outcome was more than obvious.

Earlier on Monday, before the final results were released, Taylor helped load turkeys onto trucks at the Arroyo Viejo City Recreation Center as part of the Thanksgiving drive.

Mayoral candidate Loren Taylor helps load free turkeys and Thanksgiving food onto a truck at the Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center in Oakland, California, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Taylor, who could not be interviewed immediately, represented District 6, which stretches from the Coliseum to Merritt College and through the Eastmont Hills neighborhood. However, the election of political newcomer Kevin Jenkins to the seat means Taylor is now out of a job in municipal politics.

Meanwhile, the council seat occupied by Thao in District 4, which includes Montclair, Diamond, Laurel and Redwood Heights, will also have a new face in the person of ombudsman Janani Ramachandran.

Meanwhile, Thao is the new leader of a city heading for a post-pandemic future. Her campaign, hesitant to declare victory until more official voices called the race, did not immediately comment.

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