Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs faced seven candidates in the primary election and garnered 40% of the vote. Now comes the runoff between Tubbs and political newcomer Kevin Lincoln on Election Day.
Tubbs captured national attention four years ago as the youngest mayor of a major city at 26 and the first Black mayor of Stockton. He also made headlines for starting a basic guaranteed income from private donations that gives $500 a month to 125 households for two years.
Both Tubbs and Lincoln grew up in Stockton. Both served at the White House, Tubbs as an intern and Lincoln as a Marine with the president’s helicopter under George W. Bush.
Tubbs says his first priority is COVID-19 and the resources to fight it, but also among his concerns is homelessness.
“Been two years lobbying with the governor and the city received this May $6 million to deal with homelessness but also an additional $3 million to buy a hotel and convert it to supportive housing, and these are the biggest wins for homelessness in a generation,” Tubbs said.
Lincoln also lists homelessness as his No. 1 priority.
“Homelessness has impacted everybody,” he said. “It’s in our backyards, it’s when we exit the freeways, it’s everywhere. And families be able to take their kids to the park again and not to worry about are they going to pick up something they shouldn’t pick up or step on something.”
Both candidates agree that the Stockton Police Department is far ahead in police reforms. Tubbs pointed out that it is leading the state in the decline of officer-involved shootings.
“I’m proud of the work our police department does in working with community groups and bringing them to meet with the police department,” Tubbs said. “But that more has to be done. We can’t rest on our laurels. We have to keep pushing and ensure that everyone feels safe in Stockton.”
As for Lincoln, he says there is still work to be done.
“The city of Stockton, we haven’t arrived to the place that we need to be,” he said. “But it’s time for Stockton to have a leader in the mayor and give everybody a seat at the table.”
Tubbs points to Stockton’s financial stability, noting it’s the second most fiscally healthy city in the state.
“During COVID-19, the city of Stockton had to make no cuts, had to lay off no people, did not institute new furloughs,” Tubbs said. “That didn’t just happen. It came from wise budgeting practices and for me holding the line and saying, ‘Hey, maybe we shouldn’t be subsidizing golf courses.’ And that’s why we were able to give money to our homeless shelters and support our small businesses.”
Lincoln draws on his leadership and experience.
“I truly believe that my education, having a master’s degree in executive leadership and my personal diverse background in business, non-profit, and service to our country is really what our city needs in terms of leadership,” Lincoln said.
Tubbs is Black and Lincoln is biracial, whose mother is Mexican and his father is Black, and so Stockton as one of the most diverse cities in the state will have two candidates of color running for mayor.
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