Two weeks after the Nov. 2 election, D2 candidate Janet Reilly and D10 candidate Tony Kelly issued concession statements, as ranked choice voting counts, which will certified by November 30, placed them second: Reilly trailing Mark Farrell in D2, and Kelly behind Malia Cohen in D10.
For Reilly, the disappointment was sharpened by the knowledge that she received more first-place votes than any other D2 candidate. She won 9,625 first place votes (41.15 percent of vote) compated to Farrell’s 9,442 votes (40.37 percent).
But with neither Reilly or Farrell winning an outright majority, second and third place votes were factored in under the city’s ranked choice voting system. And that calculation tipped the balance in favor of Farrell, who finished with 11,105 votes, (50.62 percent) compared to Reilly’s 10,835 votes (49.38 percent).
Reilly tried to put on a brave face in face of adversity.
“I have spent many years serving people outside public office -- on the Golden Gate Bridge Board, at Clinic by the Bay, at Catholic Charities CYO, through our family's high school scholarship program and at many other institutions,” she aid. “Now that the campaign is finished, I will be able to resume these activities.”
But she voiced her belief that attack campaign prevent potentially good candidates from running for political office. Acknowledging that “public service is an honor” and that it is "an integral part of our democratic tradition for candidates to pass a series of difficult tests before earning the right to hold office,” Reilly added that she “understands why many bright, capable people choose not to run for office when I see how poisonous and cynical the process can be.”
“In my own race, an independent expenditure committee armed with $230,000 leveled an 11th-hour smear campaign against me,” Reilly noted. “They violated a litany of election laws while peddling gross distortions and outright lies. This is simply wrong. Actions like this deter many good people from public service.”
That said, she ended on a positive note.
“I am truly proud of the campaign we ran,” Reilly said. “We never wavered in the face of adversity and we continued bringing our positive message to the voters of D2 all the way through Election Day, You can count on me to be fighting by your side every step of the way for the good of the city.”
For his part, Kelly offered congratulations to Cohen and asserted his relative success in the complex D10 race in which race, class and geographical location had a profound impact on voting patterns—and the ultimate results of the supervisor election
”I came in second in the ranked-choice runoff, by a few hundred votes,” Kelly said, alluding to a race in which Lynette Sweet won most first place votes (2,059, 12.06 percent), ahead of Kelly (2,035 votes, 11.92 percent) and Malia Cohen and Marlene Tran tied third (2001 votes, 11.72 percent of vote). But once second and third place votes were counted, the importance of strategic alliances, positive campaigns and widespread appeal became clear, as Cohen polevaulted into the lead (4,173 votes, 52.60 percent) ahead of Kelly 3, 761 votes (47.40 percent), while Tran remained in third place (3,256 votes, 30.44 percent) and Sweet dropped to a distant fourth (3077 votes, 23.87 percent).
Kelly acknowledged the importance of running grassroots campaigns under this system.
“We had more donors from D10 than anyone, more volunteers from D 10 than anyone, and just as many first-place votes in D 10 as any other campaign,” Kelly observed. “So we know the voters heard us. They, like us, want a supervisor who will listen to all our concerns, bring real progressive ideas to the Board, and ensure that the City's resources work much harder for the people of District 10.”
He offered an olive branch to the incoming supervisor and her allies by encouraging his supporters to work with Cohen to win the best future for the district.
“Neighborhood leadership is not about one person, or one campaign,” Kelly observed. “The alliances that came together during this year must continue, and I urge everyone interested in my candidacy to work with Sup. Cohen to show City Hall how to create local jobs, clean up our environment, support our families, and use common sense ideas to fix our budget. In years to come, we will all continue to fight for the people of D10 with courage, compassion, better ideas and hard work.”
And then he signed off with a peace note
”My love to you all, and many thanks, on behalf of my entire staff and the hundreds of volunteers who gave of themselves over the past nine months," Kelly said.
Peace out to Reilly, Kelly and all the candidates in these long, exhausing and ultimately brutal races.