Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, a Democratic rising star with a national reach, is trailing in a reelection bid to an upstart Republican contender — a potential upset driven in part by a local social media page that has become a kingslayer if not a kingmaker in this San Joaquin Valley city.

Tubbs, the city’s first Black mayor and a favorite in progressive circles for championing ideas such as universal basic income, trailed Republican Kevin Lincoln 52% to 48%, though county officials said many mail-in ballots remained to be counted, leaving the possibility of a reversal.

Though Tubbs won his first mayoral election in 2016 with 70% of the vote and an endorsement from President Obama, this time he has been dogged by a social media page whose founder acknowledges he harbors a grudge against Tubbs — and which has hounded the incumbent, and other local political figures, with years of accusations of corruption and misdeeds.

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