Either Oakland Councilman Dan Kalb or Richmond Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles will run against Buffy Wicks in November to represent Assembly District 15. Photos: Kalb campaign (Facebook), Beckles campaign (Facebook)

The week since the election has been a roller-coaster ride for Assembly District 15 runners-up Dan Kalb and Jovanka Beckles, as they trade spots at the top of the race to compete against Buffy Wicks in November.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Oakland Councilman Dan Kalb has a slight lead for second place over Richmond Councilwoman Beckles, with 16,297 votes, or 15.9%, to her 15,504 votes and 15.2%. Wicks’s tally stands at 32,557 votes, 31.9% of the total.

But those figures might barely reflect the eventual outcome for runner up, as tens of thousands of ballots remain to be counted in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

There are still 46,354 vote-by-mail ballots uncounted in Alameda County, and around 50,000 in Contra Costa, according to representatives from the Registrar of Voters in each location. There are an additional 12,000 uncounted provisional ballots in Alameda and 10,000 in Contra Costa.

Only some of those ballots will have boxes checked for the AD15 race, though, as only parts of each county are represented by that office. Neither county separates the ballots by district before they’re counted.

Alameda is aiming to certify its results shortly after June 19, and Contra Costa sometime before the July 6 deadline. Contra Costa plans to post its next update Wednesday at 5 p.m., said Melissa Hickok from the elections office.

Early on, it was clear Buffy Wicks, the former Barack Obama campaign strategist and White House staffer, would win the primary to claim one of the two spots on the November ballot.

“We proved that grassroots organizing wins elections,” said Wicks in a press release. “Together we can create more affordable housing, find solutions to our homelessness crisis, fund our schools and create a better future for all of our East Bay’s families.”

Wicks’s campaign hosted 161 house parties and attracted more than 500 volunteers, according to the release. Wicks also raised significantly more money than her many opponents, with her $650,000 coming from 1,225 donors, including PACs (read more about AD15 campaign finance).

Berkeleyside was not able to reach the Beckles campaign, and Kalb was unavailable to speak before publication.

Each candidate has so far led comfortably in their respective counties. Kalb represents North Oakland, which is just inside the southernmost bounds of District 15. During the campaign he touted his local efforts including the creation of Oakland’s police commission and the fight against coal in the city, promising to bring effective policymaking to Sacramento. Beckles ran a “corporate money free” campaign, highlighting her experience with grassroots organizing and her work as a counselor for under-served youth.

The candidates are competing for the Assembly seat vacated by Tony Thurmond, who is running for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. He easily secured one of the November ballot spots, with 35.2% of the votes as of Tuesday afternoon. He’ll run against Marshall Tuck, a former education non-profit and charter executive, who has 37.5%.

Track the results of other statewide contests and Alameda County races.

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...