Challenger Kevin Lincoln is leading the Stockton mayoral race over Mayor Michael Tubbs.
As of Tuesday, semifinal election results show Lincoln holds 54.36 percent of the vote with 39,708 votes and Tubbs holds 45.64 percent of the votes with 33,341 votes.
Ballots are still being counted and are expected to continue being counted throughout the week, according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters website.
Tubbs, who has received national recognition for his universal basic income program, faced criticism in October due to a false report by a Stockton blog, The 209 Times claimed Tubbs approved the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds to be transformed into a regional homeless camp.
Tubbs denied the claims on Facebook while local and state officials said no plans had been made to transform the fairgrounds into a homeless camp.
This is just one false report by the blog that has harmed Tubbs’ image to Stockton voters.
“I think it’s truly disheartening that a social media blog can state biased claims on Mayor Tubbs and be able to impact the cities’ opinions on the mayor despite the page’s lack of credible evidence,” Delta College student Valerie Martinez-Miller said.
Martinez-Miller said she believes had it not been for this blog, Lincoln wouldn’t have the lead or support he’s seen having in the election now.
“I would encourage people to do their research on the two candidates, and not simply depend on a social media blog that has a personal grudge against Mayor Tubbs,” Martinez-Miller said.
The 209 Times was created by Motec Patrick Sanchez, a candidate who lost in the primary election for Mayor of Stockton on March 3, 2020.
A new report from Yochai Benkler, a Harvard Law School professor, shows the spreading of false information in order to deceive is mostly led by politicians and the mass media.
Student Charles Lyles said he believes Lincoln will win simply because “he isn’t Tubbs.”
“Tubbs is praised everywhere except in Stockton,” Lyles said.
Lyles said the blog has skewed the public’s perception of Tubbs. However, he acknowledges Tubbs is not without his faults.
“He lacks transparency and sometimes it feels like he’s praised nationally more than his achievements and progress in town show for,” Lyles said.
Delta alumni Joe Flores said he voted for Lincoln, but is pleased with the work Tubbs has done for Stockton youth throughout his time in office.
“I like what Tubbs has done with scholarships for the Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) so much that I have considered moving my son into that school district,” Flores said. “Other than that, I want to see what Lincoln will do with homelessness, local economy, safety, and overall quality of life.”