Hodge Asks Court to Put Him on Ballot for Oakland Council Race

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 21, 2008

Posted Mon., March 24—Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge filed a motion with the Superior Court today (Monday), asking that the court reverse the Oakland City Clerk’s decision to keep him off the June 3 ballot for the District 3 Oakland City Council race. 

A hearing on Hodge’s motion will be held Tuesday in Department 31 in the U.S. Post Office Building, 201 13th St., in Oakland. No time for the hearing was available. 

Hodge could not be contacted for comment for this story, and a spokesperson for the Oakland City Attorney’s office said that its office had not yet received a copy of Hodge’s petition and could therefore not comment.  

Assistant Oakland City Clerk Marjo Keller, who made the final determination on Hodge’s petition that knocked him off the ballot, earlier told the Daily Planet, “the only way I would be able to put him on the ballot is if I were ordered to do so by the court.”  

There is no appeal to the Oakland council on the matter. 

Hodge is seeking to challenge longtime incumbent Nancy Nadel for the District 3 council seat, which has the same boundaries as Hodge’s District 3 School Board seat. Nadel has one challenger for her seat, political newcomer Sean Sullivan, development director of the Oakland branch of Covenant House. 

With 50 signatures of District 3 registered voters needed to qualify for the ballot, Hodge turned in 74. After a week of deliberations in which the Alameda County Registrar’s office initially ruled that Hodge was three signatures short but then reversed itsself and ruled that he had a sufficient number of signatures to qualify, a final review by the Oakland City Clerk’s office determined that Hodge was one signature short. 

Hodge is asking the judge to reverse the City Clerk’s decision on one of those disallowed signatures, a ruling that would put him on the June 3 ballot.