The Alamedan’s Election Night Liveblog

The Alamedan’s Election Night Liveblog

Michele Ellson

Updated at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, November 6


28 of 45 precincts reporting


Marie Gilmore: 5187/48.83
Trish Spencer: 5397/50.81


Stewart Chen: 4678/29.69
Frank Matarrese: 5829/37.00
Jim Oddie: 5173/32.83


Solana Henneberry: 5844/39.26
Gary Lym: 4783/32.14
Mike McMahon: 4201/28.22


Yes: 6432/60.86
No: 4136/39.14


Lynn Bratchett: 3948/21.76
Robert Deutsch: 4512/24.87
Tracy Jensen: 5692/31.37
Jim Meyers: 3929/21.66

8:12 p.m. Tuesday, November 4

INITIAL RESULTS (votes/percentage):


Marie Gilmore: 3194/50.13
Trish Spencer: 3159/49.58


Stewart Chen: 2978/30.56
Frank Matarrese: 3506/35.98
Jim Oddie: 3218/33.03


Solana Henneberry: 3549/38.52
Gary Lym: 2892/31.39
Mike McMahon: 2738/29.72


Yes: 3810/59.77
No: 2564 /40.23


Lynn Bratchett: 2650/22.69
Robert Deutsch: 2899/24.82
Tracy Jensen: 3579/30.64
Jim Meyers: 2520/21.58

7:12 p.m. Tuesday, November 4: Perhaps one of the most interesting questions to be answered by the results of local Alameda contests is whether the flood of money washing over some of the candidates, much of it from off-Island sources, will have a persuasive impact on who is elected.

As of October 23, Mayor Marie Gilmore had collected nearly five times in cash and in-kind contributions that her challenger, school board trustee Trish Spencer, had. Since then, she's pulled in another $10,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, records show - more than Spencer has collected during the entire course of her campaign.

The local teachers' union and the state union representing non-teaching schools staff spent an additional $10,000 each to promote the campaigns of school board candidates Solana Henneberry and Gary Lym during the election's home stretch, filing documents show; incumbent Mike McMahon has said he didn't plan to raise or spend more than $1,000, the amount that triggers a filing requirement.

City Councilman Stewart Chen benefited from a last-minute push from a political action committee calling itself the Golden State Leadership Fund, whose donors - which include PG&E, Native American gaming tribes, the state firefighters union and an Alameda County supervisor's top staffer - dropped more than $21,000 to support his candidacy and another $14,000 for mailers attacking one of his opponents, former councilman Frank Matarrese - who, records show, raised less than that to promote his own candidacy for council. Another group calling itself the Alameda County Business and Technology Consortium also released a flood of last-minute flyers attacking Matarrese, but the group - which is listed in the state's campaign finance database as backing council candidates Chen and Jim Oddie and BART board candidate Lena Tam - hasn't electronically filed information on contributors or expenditures.

Most of the money appears to have been spent on campaign mailers dropped on porches and in mailboxes in the final days of the election season.

The flood of nebulously sourced cash isn't unique to local races. The New York Times recently documented a similar phenomenon affecting national races.

And past election results show that money doesn't necessarily always buy elections. Onetime Alameda candidate Pat Bail famously lost a race for a City Council seat after spending more than $100,000 of her own money in pursuit of one. Conversely, Tony Daysog won a fresh term on the City Council in 2012 despite spending just a fraction of what his competitors did.

We'll probably be chewing this one over well after the votes are in and counted. In the meantime, stay tuned for early results in about half an hour.

5:01 p.m. Tuesday, November 4: With only a few hours to go before the polls close, I thought it might be a good idea to check in with Alameda County Registrar Tim Dupuis to get a sense of how many people will vote in Alameda County this election (and how late they’d be counting ballots tonight).

Dupuis, who said he’s expecting between 40 and 45 percent of Alameda County’s roughly 814,000 voters to cast ballots in today’s contests, said we’ll have early vote by mail results shortly after the polls close, at around 8 p.m., with updates through midnight or so.

So far, Dupuis has collected 130,000 early votes from permanent absentee voters and walk-ins like Governor Jerry Brown, who stopped by Dupuis’ office to vote late last week. After the first release of vote by mail results, Dupuis said we’ll get periodic tallies as the day-of results from Alameda County’s 798 polling places come in.

But when things wrap up tonight (or Wednesday morning), Dupuis and his staffers will still have vote by mail ballots walked in to precincts, city clerks’ offices and the registrar on election day left to sort, check and count – perhaps as many as 80,000 by his rough estimate. (And that’s not counting thousands more provision ballots registered by voters whose names weren’t on voter lists when they showed up to the polls.)

That means it will likely be days before final results are known – especially in close races.

Here on the Island, roughly two-thirds of voters are permanent absentee voters – compared to Alameda County as a whole, where half of voters vote by mail – and turnout is typically higher than the county as a whole. That probably means that thousands of Alamedans’ ballots won’t yet be counted when Dupuis and his crew wrap things up early Wednesday morning.

By state law they’ve got 28 days to wrap up their count; a press release issued by the registrar’s office says they’ll be counting ballots over the next several days.

Dupuis said they’ll have daily results updates starting Thursday evening, and that his staff will be counting ballots through this upcoming holiday weekend.

Stay tuned.


Donna Eyestone's picture
Submitted by Donna Eyestone on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

Let me just say a big Thank You to The Alamedan and especially you, Michele. Your coverage makes me feel confident when going into the polls. I know exactly who I want to vote for in our local Alameda races in large part thanks to The Alamedan. That said, I'm looking forward to Election season ending! :-)

Submitted by Mike McMahon on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

Here is the recap of 67 predictions for #Alameda races.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

You and me both, Donna. :) Thanks for your candidate videos.

Al Wright's picture
Submitted by Al Wright on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

Wondering what the Golden State Leadership Fund, the Alameda County Business and Technology Consortium, and the unions will expect from the candidates they've 'helped' in this election? Will we ever know if they are ever rewarded by the candidates they supported for their cash, free advertising, and their hit pieces?

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Wed, Nov 5, 2014

Hey Al: What's intriguing is that money does not seem to have played much of a role in this election (city races at least), though to be fair, there will probably be thousands of late absentee votes to count after the precincts are all tallied.

Submitted by Erik M. (not verified) on Wed, Nov 5, 2014

Michele, I think that the union and PAC money DID play a role in the Alameda city elections. Just not the one they expected it to.

I, for one, was disgusted by it. My city's offices are not a farm team for career politicians beholden to campaign donors.

Submitted by Rion Cassidy (not verified) on Wed, Nov 5, 2014

Four years ago I found myself hanging out at Otaez on election night with Gilmore, Tam, and McMahon while we watched the results come in and they all won. This time I was so frustrated with those people and wanted change, but was convinced that incumbents hold a big advantage here in Alameda: most people won't even pick up the free newspapers and scan them! They would all win again :-( So it was quite exciting to be hanging out at the 1400 grill (Croll's) with with Trish, Frank, and Gary Lym watching the results and every one of them was winning! I kept thinking someone should pinch me and wake me up. We have worked hard to stop the Del Monte condo project and this will hopefully be the straw that finally breaks it's back.

Submitted by Love Alameda! (not verified) on Wed, Nov 5, 2014

I've never been so excited over an election in almost a decade! Hopefully not too late to stop so all the nutty decisions of the last regime. Crown Beach, the golf course, Del Monte, development crazy, dishonest under-the-table favors will cease or at least brake. The arrest and condemnation of Stephen Peterson was the highly disturbing, to say the least. I hope he gets a public apology.

Submitted by Tony Brasunas (not verified) on Thu, Nov 6, 2014

Delighted to see these results. Congratulations to Trish Spencer!

Submitted by Austin Tam (not verified) on Thu, Nov 6, 2014

this election is not over, til all the votes are counted! Running at 55% means, out of every 100 ballots, 55 people are voting for Marie! Woot!!