OAKLAND, Calif. - Sheng Thao eked out a victory to become Oakland's mayor on Tuesday after her competitor, Loren Taylor, conceded.
"While it hurts to admit it, I don't see a viable path to making up the 682 votes needed to alter the outcome of this election," Taylor said at a news conference. He called the campaign journey a roller coaster, citing the close nature of the race.
Taylor added he won't lead a recount effort, but wouldn't stand in the way of others funding such an effort.
Thao pulled ahead with just 682 votes, giving her a 50.3% win over Taylor's 49.7%.
"I’m very excited to get to work as mayor in January, but I’m also very humbled to be here," Thao said in a statement after the final results were released. Fifteen years ago, she said, "I was living in my car with my baby. I’ve been through a lot to get to this moment, and have had so many people lift me up in order to get here."
Thao is the more progressive of the two candidates and is the first Hmong woman to be mayor of Oakland.
She is also a single mother and domestic violence survivor. She has repeatedly said that she knows what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck.
She was endorsed by many of Oakland's labor unions, including the firefighters' and tenants' unions.
She has said she wants to spend more on the city's Department of Violence Prevention. On the campaign trail, she said her mission was to get funding for housing and homeless services, protect renters and champion workers' rights.
Both she and Taylor supported hiring more police officers.
Taylor was endorsed by outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf. Chief LeRonne Armstrong congratulated the mayor-elect on Tuesday. In a tweet from the police department account, he said he looked forward to working with Thao on making Oakland a safer city.
The back-and-forth since Election Day more than a week ago has been dramatic.
Taylor had initially led in first place votes, but after ranked-choice votes were calculated, but Thao made a strong comeback and took the lead.
Thao is at least the second progressive candidate to beat her victor in Alameda County.
Civil rights attorney Pamela Price is now the first Black woman to be district attorney after beating Terry Wiley by a slim margin.
Wiley conceded in that race after Price secured 53% of the vote.
Price said she wanted to reduce gun violence, protect immigrants, get all the Alameda County defendants off Death Row and hold law enforcement accountable, as part of her platform.