As more ballots were counted Thursday in the special runoff election for the Assembly District 18 seat, Mia Bonta widened her lead and declared victory.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, Bonta held 56% of the vote with 35,501 to her opponent Janani Ramachandran’s 27,740 votes.
Alameda County is still counting votes and has not declared official results, but with 63,000 ballots counted, Bonta publicly acknowledged her lead as a “win”
“I am honored and grateful that you have put your trust in me to represent our community in Sacramento,” Bonta said in a statement issued Thursday evening. “This is a unique pocket of the world where we celebrate our diversity, where we welcome folks of different backgrounds, where folks are free to speak their mind and stand up against injustice. It is that special East Bay spirit that I plan to represent in the Assembly. I am going to Sacramento to build upon that ethos to help our community thrive.”
Bonta and Ramachandran defeated six other candidates in the June 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 vote getter in June but because she didn’t get more than 50% of the vote to win 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.
Ramachandran is an attorney who has represented tenants facing eviction and served on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission.
According to Close the Gap California, a statewide campaign to bring more women into the California Legislature, either woman who secures the seat would set an all-time record of 32.5% women representation in the legislature when they are sworn in later this month.