Alameda Unified school board member Mia Bonta took the early lead against attorney and political newcomer Janani Ramachandran in Tuesday’s special runoff election for state Assembly District 18.
Bonta picked up 25,401 votes, or 55% of the vote-by-mail ballots counted just after 8 p.m.
The more than 46,000 ballots cast by mail represent just 16% of the total registered voters in the district, according to the results posted Tuesday by Alameda County. By 8:30 p.m., the county had not yet posted results for voters who cast ballots on Election Day.
Bonta and Ramachandran defeated six other candidates in the June primary contest to succeed Rob Bonta, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom as state attorney general. Rob Bonta is Mia Bonta’s husband.
Mia Bonta was the top voter in June but because she didn’t get more than 50% of the vote to win the seat outright, she had to face off against Ramachandran, who came in second place.
The 18th district represents a little more than 500,000 people across much of Oakland and all of San Leandro and Alameda.
Bonta is president of the Alameda Unified School District board and CEO of Oakland Promise, a multifaceted organization that works to increase the number of college graduates from Oakland.
She has received endorsements from U.S. Rep Barbara Lee, D-Oakland and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, D-California. A slew of labor unions, including the California Teachers Association, United Farm Workers and the Alameda Labor Council, also have thrown their support behind Bonta.
Ramachandran is an attorney who has represented tenants facing eviction and served on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. She has received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, state Assemblymember Alex Lee, D-San Jose, and the Oakland Tenants Union, among others.
Check back for updates on this developing story.