“I am proud of the progress we made in such a short period of time and greatly appreciate the help, partnerships, and backing that emerged from a widely diverse base of support,” Neal, 62, of Oakland, said in a statement issued early this morning. “While I will not be an active participant in the race at this time, I will continue to be involved in state and local politics, because I am committed to improving the lives of those in our community, especially for those among us who are less fortunate or disenfranchised.”
Although her release said she “entered the race much later than her opposition yet garnered considerable traction,” it seemed she wasn’t keeping up with the other Democrats in the race: Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta; Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen; and AC Transit Director-at-Large Joel Young.
Neal – the owner of an information technology consulting firm; a former Port of Oakland commissioner; and ex-wife of former Assemblyman and former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris – was trailing far behind all three of them in campaign contributions. And although Neal is a county and state Democratic committeewoman, she trailed behind the others in votes at the party’s local pre-endorsement conference a few weeks ago (though none of them got enough votes to win an endorsement).
Neal noted she has worked to elect other California Democratic women including Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier and Barbara Boxer as well as more local names such as Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks and Peralta trustee Linda Handy.
“As women, I have always believed that our voices must be heard and I have worked tirelessly to place strong and effective women in elective office,” Neal said. “While I regret that at this time I am unable to continue my candidacy in the new 18th Assembly District, I look forward to future races where I can play an integral role in ensuring greater representation of women in office.”
She thanked all who have “committed time, energy and resources to my campaign. You are truly remarkable people. Going forward, I will assure that your confidence in me was well placed by continuing the work I have always done for the full, positive and beneficial inclusion of everyone in all that our society has to offer.”