Lee, Mirkarimi, and Gascon win first ranked choice tally

Elections Chief John Arntz takes questions from reporters.
Steven T. Jones

San Francisco’s first run of ranked choice voting tallies for yesterday's election shows Ed Lee winning the mayor’s race (with progressive favorite John Avalos in second), George Gascon remaining district attorney, and Ross Mirkarimi becoming the new sheriff in town.
“Progressive victory, citywide, that’s huge,” Sup. David Campos told Mirkarimi this afternoon outside the Elections Department, where a scrum of journalists and politicos gathered to get the results. It would indeed be a rare citywide victory for progressives, which analyst David Latterman says constitute about 19 percent of the electorate, compared to 39 percent who identify as moderate and 36 percent who call themselves liberals.   
About 7,500 provisional and 24,000-25,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted over the next few days, said Elections Chief John Arntz, telling reporters, “I’m not saying these are the final results by any stretch.” But there is good reason to believe these winners will stick.
In the sheriff’s race, where Mirkarimi faced off against three candidates with long law enforcement backgrounds, David Wong was the first to be eliminated, and the lion’s share of his 9,487 votes went to fellow Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Miyamoto rather than Chris Cunnie, the former head of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, knocking Cunnie out of the race.
Of Wong’ votes, 3,828 went to Miyamoto, 2,637 were exhausted (meaning Wong voters had no second choice), 1,682 went to Mirkarimi, and just 1,325 went to Cunnie, who had been in second place. That gave Mirkarimi almost 40 percent of the vote, compared with 30.7 percent for Miyamoto and 29.8 percent for Cunnie.
On the next round, Cunnie’s 42,877 votes were redistributed as follows: 16,820 to Miyamoto, 14,675 exhausted, and 11,322 to Mirkarimi, giving him 53 percent of the vote. “I’m optimistic, but I’m not declaring victory,” Mirkarimi told reporters. He said that he hopeful that he’ll get the chance to continue the 30-year progressive legacy of retiring Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who endorsed Mirkarimi.
The only real variable in the sheriff’s race is how Cunnie’s second place votes break in the event that incoming ballots change who gets eliminated after Wong, but Mirkarimi said he was happy with how well progressive campaigns did in this election.  
“I want to say how proud I am of the Avalos campaign. It did a good job at getting people out who have felt disenfranchised,” Mirkarimi added.
Indeed, Avalos surprised much of the political establishment by finishing strongly in second place with 18.3 percent of the vote compared to Lee’s 31.5 percent and Dennis Herrera’s 11.3 percent. In the first ranked choice run, it took 11 rounds of eliminations for Lee to break the 50 percent threshold of victory. And when he did, he jumped all the way to 61 percent, mostly because voters who chose Herrera as their third choice exhausted their ballots.
When Herrera was eliminated in Round 10, 18,276 of his 29,717 votes were exhausted, and of the balance, 6,683 went to Avalos and 4,705 went to Lee, where they had been at 28 percent and 49 percent respectively. Avalos then finished second with 39 percent of the vote.
Other notable rounds in the mayoral runoff were when fourth place finisher David Chiu was eliminated and his nearly 20,000 votes broke most heavily in favor of Ed Lee and being exhausted, reinforcing the idea that he draws his support mostly from moderates and is no longer part of the progressive movement that helped elect him to the Board of Supervisors.
Avalos got just 2,376 of Chiu’s second place votes, compared to 5,894 for Lee and 3,832 for Herrera. By contrast, when Leland Yee was eliminated a round earlier, his votes were redistributed fairly evenly among Lee, Chiu, Herrera, and Avalos. Part of the reason that Avalos never gained ground on Lee was that the mayor got more second place votes than his progressive challenger on every elimination between Round 3 and the final round.
In the DA’s race, Gascon’s 42 percent total of first place votes is an insurmountable lead, particularly given that he also did well on the second place votes, showing that attacks on his secrecy and police connections didn’t do much to hurt him. When third place finisher Sharmin Bock was eliminated in the third round, Gascon got 13,301 of her votes, compared with 10,430 for David Onek, and 11,840 exhausted.
The Elections Department will run new totals every day at 4 pm


Herrera voters were that dumb?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

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Posted by loan singapore on Oct. 21, 2012 @ 1:25 am

Not necessarily that Herrera voters had no second choice. Should also note that by the time Herrera was eliminated, many of his votes were probably already 3rd choice votes so there were no more candidates to go to for those voters. Also Herrera probably drew votes at some point on their ballot from moderate voters who for whatever reason didn't vote for Ed Lee but didn't want to vote for John Avalos either.

Posted by Jim on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

Congratulations John. One thing I guess this demonstrates is that we now exactly where Chiu, Herrera and their supporters stand. Onward and Upward Companeros.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

I agree with the earlier comment about Herrera voters...it probably had more to do with ballot exhaustion than anything else. Either people who chose Herrera first or second, but didn't put Avalos or Lee on their ballot or people who had Herrera as their third choice.

Some number of Chiu voters voted for him because he is Asian and they probably voted for Lee after Chiu because he is Asian too. A plurality of Yee voters chose Lee as their next choice..definitely doesn't mean that there is any love between Leland and Ed.

Posted by Manish on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

if Mirkarimi wins. It'll be interesting to see who Lee appoints to that open seat.

Posted by guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

Probably London Breed.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

Quick Google search shows me that she seems like someone who'd be appointed by Lee to an open seat in that district - she's definitely a machine-type Democrat.

Posted by guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

If you've never heard of her I suggest you try and familiarize yourself with SF politics and history before posting here and exposing yourself as a complete doofus.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

Some of us have lives, families and jobs which take up a great deal of our time. Some of us don't pay attention to the machinations of machine Democrats outside of our own districts - because we don't really care.

I see someone has taken h. brown's place as the resident self-important windbag of the SFBG comment boards.

Posted by guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

Until recently London Breed (who began as a Willie Brown protege) was a Commissioner for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, where, just like all of the other Redevelopment commissioners, she was a 100% rubber stamp vote for Lennar corporation's neighborhood destroying boondoggle gentrification projects in the Bayview Hunters Point and on Treasure Island.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

Did you know she grew up in the projects, raised by her grandmother, who now suffers from dementia and lives in Laguna Honda? ( London visits her most Sundays). Did you know that London attended SF public schools (a graduate of Galileo HS) and UC Davis? Did you know that London has been a staunch supporter of Ross Mirkarimi's? She isthe Executive Director of the African American Arts and Cultural Center and has implemented great programs for kids there, among many others. She has tirelessly represented her district and would be a great choice for D 5 Supervisor, whether she is appointed or elected.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

The Machine is great at this -creating candidates out of thin air, wrapping them up in a nice suit, creating a story, etc. Willie isn't stupid. He won't appoint someone rabid like Sean Elsbernd -not in D5.

He'll appoint someone like London Breed, who they can tell a nice story about, make her look all progressive, even let her vote the right way... *WHEN* it doesn't matter. When her vote actually makes the difference, she'll of course have to fall in line, but she'll have plenty of allegedly progressive votes to point to by the time she runs for re-election. In the meantime, count on the Chronicle to churn out puff piece after lugubrious puff piece every couple weeks over the course of one year.

It's OK though.D5 voters aren't dumb. We'll beat her.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

When over 60% vote for Lee, they are saying they trust his judgment to do things like select Supes whose values align with the majority.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:45 am

Especially not in D5

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

So Guest, Can you explain how the narrative you just laid out negates the undeniable fact that London Breed completely fucked over the Bayview Hunters Point community, on behalf of the Wall Street developer Lennar corporation; allowing toxic chemical and asbestos poisoning of thousands of Bayview residents, which will most certainly kill some of them, and has probably already led to asthma deaths there?

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

I am encouraged by the fact that maybe 40% of the 30% that give a damn and actually voted, supported John Avalos. I don't think any of us 'progressives' really thought we had any chance of rubbing out "La Familia". Slick Willie, et al, are back in the driver's seat instead of the back seat, it was about as foregone a conclusion as that the climate is really changing. Those are realities we are confronted with and have to deal with. "We" will continue fighting to try and change policies so that the majority of people can be cared for and considered. I have no issues with those 'guests' who criticize 'progressives' for poor organization, I have been saying that for decades; what I do find unsettling and unfortunate is that so many 'guests' here seem to be under the illusion that they are part of the privileged "1%". I suggest you might want to read the words of Pastor Niemoller again, assuming you are familiar with them, if not check them out; 'we' are not your enemy, unless you really are 'one of them', which I doubt, or you wouldn't be bloviating here.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

...in a higher turnout election, we would had done even better.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

We should also take heart that if more people had voted for Avalos, then he would have won.
We should also take heart that if Avalos was the only one running for Mayor, he would have gotten more votes.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 7:39 am

Keep making excuses for losing. It's really constructive.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:49 am

Progressives failed to help energize that higher needed turnout I'm referencing; and most importantly, failed to strongly coordinate our ranked choice strategy with eachother to focus on two or three chosen candidates and then message those choices bigtime to the voters. The latter is precisely why we lost.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:17 am

would have voted any differently than those that did?

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:34 am

This is already a well established historical fact. Higher turnout elections always result in a more progressive vote. This is why conservative always try to discourage turnout, and also place their ballot measures in off year elections when there are no high profile races for seats like U.S. president or state Governor.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:01 am

If you had any real evidence, you'd cite it.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:18 am

Because people the people who voted did not like the person you ran, the progressive agenda in San Francisco is no secret from the voters. Avalos was running on that history and he got beat.

Your revealed agenda is not appealing to voters as a whole. No amount of educating the voter is going to change that. No amount of organizing or advocating will change that in the short term.

You"re like the conservatives who complain that McCain and Dole lost because they were not real Reagan conservatives, so the real conservative base was not energized.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:40 am

from a clear loss

Instead of the obvious conclusion - Avalos was too left-wing for the average SF'er to stomach.

They instead assume it was mere chance, if only this, if only that.

There's none so blind as those who won't see

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:53 am

...as a voter who is bombarded by millions of dollars in corporate and developer ads for one candidate.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:10 am

what an anonymous internet trolls says in a chatroom

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:19 am

Daly beat Rob Black.

Black outspent Daly with downtown money, so the resulting progressive output was that the people saw through the bullshit of the corporate candidate.

Money buys elections unless they don't.

The voter is smart unless they are not.

The progressives speak for the people, just not when it comes to the ballot box.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:54 am

It's obvious that we lost because we didn't coordinate to reconcile our differences and form progressive unity around a joint ranked choice strategy.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:05 am

Just wish I had a fraction of the insight and knowledge that h has of the history and back stories about SF politics, policies and personages. I'll just keep going with my gut and heart.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

If you don't measure up to the standards established by Patrick Monk that you have no business expressing yourself here or joining in the conversation. Just keep your thoughts to yourself -- free speech is a right granted at the discretion of Patrick Monk.

Posted by District 3 Vet on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

Finally, you're catching on.
Before he was eliminated in Round 9 your man Chiu had 14.5%, compared with Avalos 25%. A word of caution, "FEAR THE BEARD", possibly returning to a theatre near you.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

I was expecting Avalos and Herrera voters to coalesce a little bit more. Fooled me.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

I'd second the comment that many Chiu supporters also backed Lee because they're both Asian. Lee, Yee, Chiu, Adachi, and just about any Asian candidate saw a similar cross-ideological alignment in the IRV results.

Also, I'm confused, what does "Liberal" mean in SF, as opposed to Progressive? Should I be encouraged that 55 percent of voters identify as liberal or progressive, and just 39 percent identify as the nebulous "moderate"? Who in SF politics would be classified as a liberal, but not a progressive?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

thanks to its association with people like Gabs Haaland and David Campos. Many people find it too dogmatic and unyielding. Thus they say they're liberal vs. progressive. Many progressives seem to revel in this - thus they keep losing races like the DA and Mayor's office.

Posted by guest on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

A liberal is a person who has formed there views over time and has adjusted them to their life experiences.

Being a progressive is like finding Ayn Rand when you are 17, a narrow and dogmatic view of life, it's like being a fundy Christian in the will to believe and neo con like with its intellectual pretensions.

Progressive are people who if they had listened to Rush Limbaugh first would have gone for that, but progressives heard Noam Chomsky first instead.

Liberals think a difference of opinion on politics is just a difference in opinion, a progressive thinks the other person is stupid and needs to be educated correctly with the correct new speak.

progressive think that sitting down and talking to you and pointing out there talking points will make you come around, born againers think that insisting that the bible is the word of god and that since that is a fact god thinks a certain way. They both get frustrated and angry when you are too stupid to agree.

Progressives think that if you agree with them and you are not white that is a qualification, far right wingers think that if you are not white your race is a qualification if you agree with them.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

Now that sounds more like the real matlock. Just FYI, and for future exchanges, I do not consider myself 'progressive' etc; after many decades the closest I have been able to come to 'categorizing' myself is as a 'radicalzenanarcho-yippiehumanistmofo'. Go figure!!~

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

"A liberal is a person who has formed there views over time and has adjusted them to their life experiences."

I'm a progressive. I formed my views over time and adjusted them based on life experiences and new information.

A liberal seems to adjust his views depending on the whims of the moment, at least if you're a "matlock liberal".

Posted by Greg on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

socialist, communist, leninist, green, liberal, progressive etc

nobody else cares

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:48 am


Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:28 am

A progressive is a liberal who has been mugged by their landlord.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:41 am

Nice one ;)

But I would go even further.

A progressive is a liberal who -has- a landlord.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:12 am

That's actually a very good question that I began to answer at length, but I just accidentally erased it and it's now getting late after a big election night, so I think I'll wait until tomorrow and do a full post on it because it's an interesting and illuminating issue for San Francisco. Good night.

Posted by steven on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

social democrats
liberal democrats
and so in

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:55 am

That's irrelevant to understanding San Francisco politics, but the moderate-progressive spectrum isn't.

Posted by steven on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:12 am

factions when it comes to the left, and they noften hate on each other more than they hate on the common enemy.

That in turn weakens their efforts at elections.

When people here argue about whether they are a progressive or a liberal or a socialist or a green or an anarchist, it's divisive and disenpowering to the movement.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:21 am

I think its fine for individual factions to vociferously and meticulously debate and deconstruct and even get angry about, our differences.

The -key- is to stop doing so for a second when we reach a key moment like this election, and get our act together to reach consensus on a strategy for that moment, so that we win it.

We didn't do that this election, and we got beat.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

Elsbernd, Farrell, Wiener, Chu
Chiu, Cohen,
Avalos, Campos, Mar.
Just my 2c

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 09, 2011 @ 8:40 pm