Update: Kalb and Beckles continue to battle for second in AD 15 primary race

Assembly candidate Buffy Wicks and her daughter at a meeting at the South Berkeley branch library. Wicks topped the Assembly primary race. Photo: Lance Knobel

Update, June 13: The latest tally, posted by the California Secretary of State at 5:30 p.m. today, puts Jovanka Beckles slightly ahead of Dan Kalb for second place in the June 5 primary for Assembly District 15. Beckles has 18,132 votes to Kalb’s 17,837, a lead of 295 votes. As Berkeleyside reported yesterday, there are still many thousands of ballots in both Alameda and Contra Costa county. Alameda plans to certify its results next week, while Contra Costa officials will only commit to certification before the July 6 deadline.

Update, June 11: The election tally was updated at 8:19 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, putting Dan Kalb ahead of Jovanka Beckles. The race for second place in the primary is still close, with Kalb leading with 14,651 votes to Beckles’ 14,076. The district is split between Contra Costa and Alameda counties: Kalb has a significant lead for second place in the Alameda tallies, while Beckles leads comfortably in Contra Costa. The final result will hinge on which county has more uncounted ballots.

Update, June 9: Jovanka Beckles is now in second place, according to the latest tally, with Dan Kalb close behind her. As of the totals reported Saturday just before 5:45 p.m., Beckles had 15.1% of the votes, and Kalb had 14.8%. Buffy Wicks is holding at 31.5%. The count remains underway. The Secretary of State has the latest tallies.

Update, June 8: Dan Kalb remains in second place, at 15.1%, followed by Jovanka Beckles with 14.6% and Judy Appel at 11.7%. Wicks is still on top with 31.4%.


Original story, June 6: Former Obama White House staffer Buffy Wicks and Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb are the winners of the primary for Assembly District 15, on the basis of the pre-certified count of the June 5 primary election. With 100% of precincts recorded, but with some mail-in ballots and conditional ballots still to be tallied, Wicks topped the primary contest with 31.1%, followed by Kalb with 14.9%.

Kalb finished just ahead of Richmond Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles, who tallied 14.6%. Only 182 votes separate Kalb and Beckles, which is a narrow enough result that it could change with additional counting.

There were 12 candidates in the race to succeed Tony Thurmond in the State Assembly.

Berkeley school board member Judy Appel finished in fourth, with 11.6%. UC Berkeley student Pranav Jandhyala, the lone Republican in the primary, finished sixth with 6.7% of the vote. Berkeley City Councilman Ben Bartlett finished eighth, with 3.4%.

Wicks and either Kalb or Beckles, all Democrats, will face off in the November General Election.

The primary race for the Alameda County District Attorney was won by incumbent Nancy O’Malley with 59% of the vote. Challenger Pamela Price, a civil rights attorney who ran a well-funded campaign on a police-accountability and anti-mass-incarceration platform, garnered 40% of the vote. Winners of two-candidate primaries with more than 50% of the vote are elected directly, and will not appear on the November ballot.

Wicks was easily the best-funded candidate for the Assembly seat, having raised over $650,000 from 1,225 donors. Appel was successful in fundraising – second to Wicks with $279,000 from 557 contributors – but fell short of Kalb.


See our complete coverage of the AD 15 race.