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Who will represent District 7 on the Oakland school board? James Harris — for now.

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On Jan. 7, James Harris is sworn in as the new representative for OUSD’s District 7 seat.

But just two weeks later, he goes back to court, where a judge might declare him ineligible to serve on the board because of where he lives (in Oakland City Council District 7, but in the San Leandro school district) — and the seat, vacant.

Judge Evelio Grillo initially sided with Harris and against Alice Spearman, whom he beat handily on Election Day. But at a hearing today, Grillo raised more questions — and set another court date for Jan. 23.

Spearman says she’s confident that not only will she prevail in court, but that she’ll get her seat back, either through appointment or a special election.

Predictions?

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OUSD District 7 race not over yet: Spearman files legal challenge

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As promised, Alice Spearman’s attorney has filed a motion to declare James Harris, the candidate who beat her on Election Day, ineligible for the seat.

“I’m going to do what I said I was going to do,” Spearman told me last week.

The motion, filed Tuesday, essentially makes the same case as the pre-election challenge: Harris might be an Oakland resident, living in City Council District 7, but his neighborhood is part of the San Leandro Unified School District.

Harris votes for City Council District 7, but for a San Leandro school board representative. He wasn’t able to vote in his own race.

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Your unofficial OUSD winners

This tally doesn’t include all of the mail-in ballots that have yet to be counted, but the results for the Oakland school board races and Measure J (which I’ve rounded) are pretty decisive. Two of the three incumbents, London and Hinton Hodge, have won.

District 1: Incumbent¬†Jody London, 76% — defeated Thearse Pecot

District 3: Incumbent¬†Jumoke Hinton Hodge, 61% (after ranked-choice voting ran its course) — defeated Richard Fuentes and Ben Lang

District 5: Rosie Torres, 54% — defeated Mike Hutchinson in an open race for a seat long held by Noel Gallo.

District 7: James Harris, 57% — defeated Alice Spearman, who has said she might raise a legal challenge again, after the election; Harris lives in Oakland, but in a neighborhood affiliated with the San Leandro school district.

Measure J: 84% (needed 55 percent to pass)

What do you think this outcome will mean for OUSD — besides two new board members?

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Spearman’s campaign challenges opponent’s residency

Staff PhotojournalistJames Harris - Headshot (hi-res)

FRIDAY UPDATE #2: Alice Spearman said the judge said he needed more information to determine whether Harris lived in OUSD, and that there would be a full hearing in about a month (She plans to file a motion for one). “It ain’t over,” she said. “The man lives in a part of town that is part of San Leandro Unified.”

FRIDAY UPDATE: James Harris remains a certified candidate for the District 7 seat. An email Harris sent me this afternoon read: “The judge denied Ms. Spearman’s ex parte application to decertify me as a candidate. I look forward to turning our full focus back towards mounting a vigorous campaign.”

Alice Spearman‘s re-election campaign for Oakland school board (District 7) has challenged whether James Harris, her opponent, has met the residency requirements to run in the November election.

Harris lives in Sheffield Village with an Oakland address. He pays Oakland property taxes, and is in Oakland City Council District 7. He has a kid at Burckhalter. But for a reason I don’t understand, he and his neighbors vote for San Leandro school board. There’s a hearing tomorrow morning; I’ll keep you posted.

Anyone have history on this neighborhood?

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Your candidates for Oakland school board: an almost final list

THURSDAY UPDATE: The city’s list of qualified candidates is here. Cindi Reiss, a District 5 hopeful, said this morning that she planned to contest the clerk’s office determination that she didn’t have enough valid signatures, as she submitted three additional pages yesterday. As of now, the only two qualified candidates for that seat are Mike Hutchinson and Roseann Torres.

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The Oakland school board races are still shaping up to be lively, though some of the candidates appear to have dropped out or failed to gather enough valid signatures to qualify. The deadline for District 5 was today, which explains why there are no candidates listed for that race in the city’s qualified candidate’s list, updated as of yesterday.

In District 1 you have incumbent Jody London and challenger Thearse Pecot, an OUSD grandmother who sued the district over the closure of Santa Fe and other elementary schools.

District 3 has three candidates now: incumbent Jumoke Hinton Hodge and challengers Richard Fuentes, an aide to Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, and Benjamin Lang, who had flown completely under my radar. I haven’t found a campaign site for him, but will add a link when I do. Sheilagh Polk, who — along with Hinton Hodge — was endorsed by GO Public Schools’ governing board, apparently didn’t file. Vicente Cruz, the Green Party candidate who’d also planned to run, fell a few signatures short of qualifying. (But he tells me he plans to give it another try before long. “Look for me soon,” he said.)

The District 5 deadline was today, rather than last Friday, as it’s a no-incumbent race. So far, I’ve seen Mike Hutchinson‘s and Cindi Reiss‘s names on the city’s site, though the city has yet to come out with its updated list of qualified candidates, and I believe Roseann Torres was also planning to file.

In District 7, there are just two candidates: incumbent Alice Spearman and challenger James Harris.