By Edward Ngai
Michael Tubbs ’12 has been elected to Stockton City Council’s sixth district, beating incumbent Republican Dale Fritchen.
Just after midnight, with 132 precincts reporting, Tubbs had secured 60.3 percent of votes compared to Fritchen’s 39.7 percent.
The 29,699 ballots cast for Tubbs, a Democrat, make him the most popular Stockton city official elected today. He is currently over his pre-election goal of 60 percent of the vote.
Only 22, Tubbs graduated from Stanford in June and is only the third politician to be endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, behind President Barack Obama and mayor Cory Booker ’91 M.A. ’92 of Newark.
“I think we really showed what is possible,” Tubbs told The Daily. “I think we really inspired a lot of people in Stockton, but also everywhere, to… make communities better places.”
Tubbs, the son of a single mother and an incarcerated father, grew up in Stockton before starting at Stanford in 2008. Since his graduation in June, he has been splitting time on the campaign trail with his job as coordinator of the University of the Pacific’s community environment program.
His activism in the Stockton community includes the founding of nonprofit organizations like Save Our Stockton– which he founded as a sophomore at Stanford– and the Summer Success and Leadership Academy at the University of the Pacific. More recently, he founded the Phoenix Scholars, a mentorship and college admissions program for underprivileged youth.
In 2010, he served as an intergovernmental affairs intern at the White House, working under senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and studying responses by different cities to issues of violence and crime.
As the campaign entered its final weeks, Tubbs unexpectedly secured the endorsement of the Stockton Record, Stockton’s daily newspaper. He has also been endorsed by Stockton-area figures like Congressman Jerry McNerney and rapper MC Hammer.
His margin of victory tonight may have been a surprise to some, but for Tubbs, it had been his goal headed into election night.
“I personally would like 60 percent,” he said to The Daily in a pre-election interview. “It would give a nice little mandate for change.”