Home World Mayor may face recall following community group’s petition

Mayor may face recall following community group’s petition


Opponents of Mayor Sheng Thao filed recall petitions Wednesday that, if verified, could force the progressive mayor into another election less than two years after she took office.

The group, which called itself Oakland United to Recall Sheng Thao, submitted what it said were 40,000 signatures in its bid to boot Thao from office. The once-rare political maneuver is gaining prominence in California, with voters in Alameda County pursuing a recall against District Attorney Pamela Price in November.

The Oakland group would need 24,644 valid signatures from city voters — or 61% of the total submitted — to compel a recall election for Thao, who received 39,000 first-place ballots in a razor-tight 2022 election that relied on ranked-choice ballots.

Election officials are expected to begin the process of counting the valid signatures this week.

Tim Dupuis from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters said in an interview his office will have 60 days after receiving the petitions from the city clerk to finish validating the signatures.

City Clerk Asha Reed could also direct Dupuis to run a random-sampling of the collected petitions to estimate how many are likely to be valid — a process that could outright dismiss an election, automatically trigger one or lead officials to begin a manual count.

If Thao were to be forced into an election this November, it would need to be set before Aug. 9, the last cutoff date for placing items on the same ballot as the upcoming presidential election.

The recall campaign, led by retired Alameda County judge Brenda Habin-Forte, has pilloried Thao with accusations that she is soft on crime, bad with public money and an ineffective leader.

“As much as the so-called ‘progressives’ virtue signal about supporting the working-class, it’s disappointing to see them not only ignore our voices but continuously gaslight and mock us,” Habin-Forte said Wednesday in a news release announcing the signatures. “Well, it’s time for a long-marginalized community to finally speak for ourselves, and speak loudly,” she added.

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