Jenny Wong wins Berkeley city auditor election

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First-time candidate Jenny Wong won the race for Berkeley’s next city auditor, beating opponent Vladislav Davidzon.

Wong drew 91.5 percent of the vote for the city auditor election as of press time, about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday morning, with all 107 precincts reported.

Wong, an auditor for a federal office, faced Davidzon, a former technology business owner — they were the only two candidates for the position. While Davidzon said in a Facebook message that he refused endorsements, Wong garnered more than 30 from city officials and community members, including Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and both current Berkeley City Auditor Ann-Marie Hogan and former city auditor Anna Rabkin.

Wong said that after assuming the city auditor position Dec. 1, transparency and public communication will be at the top of her priorities, and she plans to make audit recommendations — of which there are more than 100, according to Wong — publicly available. Wong added that she plans to seek out public input on issues that she should “shine a light on.”

“I think that a lot of people support my vision of accountability and transparency,” Wong said. “It’s not easy running for office (and) to step outside my comfort zone. But being a Berkeley resident, I wanted to make sure that there was somebody with the experience to fill this role.”

A Berkeley resident of 24 years and a UC Berkeley graduate, Wong saw a need for an experienced auditor in the position that Hogan will vacate when she retires in December. Wong has been an auditor for the federal Government Accountability Office for the last 18 years and has served on Berkeley’s Labor Commission and Budget Review Commission.

Wong received the news of her victory at a viewing party at a bar on University Avenue.

“I’m really overwhelmed. I think the voters believed I’m the right person for this job — people believe that I’m the right person,” Wong said. “I am just feeling really grateful, and I’m in this room with all these supporters. I’m kind of speechless.”

Contact Brandon Yung at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @brandonyung1.