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Lena Tam to Abandon Alameda After One Term on City Council

The word is out, and all over – Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam is running for Alice Lai-Bitker’s seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, after only one term on Alameda City Council.

The East Bay Citizen appears to have scooped all local media by reporting on Saturday, February 6th, that Lai-Bitker was endorsing Tam for the seat, to the chagrin of Wilma Chan, who is also rumored to be considering a run for the seat again.

Tam’s nomination is probably doubly troubling for Chan, Lena Tam’s website for her 2006 run for Alameda City Council explains that “In 2005 Assemblymember Wilma Chan named Lena Tam as Woman of the Year for her community service.”

Tam was elected to Alameda City Council in November, 2006. Sources tell Action Alameda News that she is a “political animal” rarely found in her EBMUD office, and more concerned schmoozing around associations like the League of California Cities.

Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson was rumored to want to run for the same seat, but settled for running for Alameda City Council, (Johnson has served only one term on City Council) until Lai-Bitker announced she would not run again. Sources say that Johnson was ready to announce that she was running for Council on or about the same day that Lai-Bitker made her announcement. Johnson’s decision may have left City Council running mate Frank Matarrese, who has declared his candidacy for Mayor of Alameda, in the lurch. It may turn into a three-way race – Johnson, Chan and Tam – for Lai-Bitker’s seat.

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