Clayton council elected Diaz, Trupiano

Clayton council elected Diaz, Trupiano
Jim Diaz and Kim Trupiano.

CLAYTON, CA (Dec. 7, 2023) — A divided City Council elected Jim Diaz as mayor at the Dec. 5 meeting, after several residents and a council member spoke out against him.

Mayor Jeff Wan, Councilmember Kim Trupiano and then Vice Mayor Diaz voted yes, with Peter Cloven voting no and Holly Tillman abstaining.

Before the vote, Cloven pointed to two instances where he says Diaz tried to intimidate him into changing his vote as well as his position in the council. According to Cloven, Diaz, “threatened me with retribution” if Cloven did not step down as mayor and pass the gavel to Wan for the second half of Cloven’s term. Diaz did not comment.

Upon hearing Cloven’s recounting of his relationship with Diaz, Tillman switched her vote from yes to an abstention.

The council, however, voted unanimously for Trupiano as vice mayor. Trupiano said she would bring the community together, continuing to work across both sides of the aisle to serve all residents. “I am a uniter, not a divider.”

Residents Jim Killoran, Scott Denslow and Ed Miller spoke in favor of other council members for mayor. Multiple constituents asked that Trupiano be nominated and expressed dismay that Tillman, a Black woman, would be passed up for mayor.

Miller, who ran for council last year, said that the same people who were adamant about electing Wan as the first Asian-American mayor were now adamant about passing up Tillman as the first Black mayor of Clayton.

Miller elaborated on the conversation after Wan was not selected as mayor a couple years back.

“In that time, there was a lot of noise about, ‘This is a racial decision; we could have had the first Asian-American mayor.’ And I will be very curious to see how that same crowd handles suddenly not rationalizing that this is passing over a woman, passing over the first Black mayor.”

Killoran gave a nod to Trupiano. “I am a fan of Kim Trupiano. I do think she should be considered,” he said, adding: “I want to send my appreciation to the two women on our council.”

Vince Martellacci
Vince Martellacci

Vince Martellacci is a somewhat new resident of Clayton who loves to spend time in the town center and in Concord. He represents musicians across the Bay Area in the media when he’s not writing. Contact him at