London Breed Elected San Francisco Mayor


San Francisco Supervisor London Breed emerged victorious a week after Election Day to become the city's first African-American woman elected mayor, narrowly defeating a rival who was seeking to become the first openly gay man in the position.

After more than a week of suspense, San Francisco now knows its mayor: London Breed.

Though San Francisco is a one-party town (the Republican candidate, Richie Greenberg, earned just 2.83% of first-choice votes), the divisions between "moderate" and "progressive" Democrats can be bitter, with stark disagreements over how best to address the city's housing and homelessness crises.

Breed stressed that unity was the best way for San Francisco to solve the problems the city faces. "And I am prepared to make sure that I do everything that I can to work together, to bring the Board of Supervisors together, to bring everyone together for the goal of solving our most challenging problems".

Leno trailed Breed by 1,861 votes with more to be counted when he announced his decision.

In a brief appearance before reporters and cheering supporters on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, an exuberant Breed said she was humbled, honored and looking forward to serving as mayor. "She was very gracious".

Leno called his opponent "a remarkable young woman".

Former Supervisor Angela Alioto, the daughter of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, served on the board until 1997 and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1995 and 2003. The old notion of a "Tale Of Two Cities" is to clique at this point.

"No matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do", she said.

"Her success is San Francisco's success", he said.

But Breed still prevailed, riding her support among the business and political establishment who helped her lead the field in campaign donations.

Acting Mayor Mark Farrell also offered his congratulations.

"I want to offer my honest congratulations to Mayor-Elect London Breed on her election victory", he said in a prepared statement.

Turnout exceeded 50% - unusually high for recent mayoral elections - in a contest that was placed on the June 5 ballot after the unexpected death of Mayor Ed Lee in December.

On Monday, the elections department included about 9,000 votes that were tallied since Sunday. The elections office was set to release an updated tally at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Toward the end of the campaign, Leno and Breed threw in their lots together, asking voters to rank them one and two on their ballots, in hopes of using the city's ranked-choice system to compensate for Breed's expected strength in first-place votes. The system asks voters to rank their first, second and third choice for mayor, and if one candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote, that person is named the victor.

At the end of counting on election night, Breed held a almost 10 percentage point advantage over Leno in first-place votes.

The victor was selected through the city's uncommon ranked-choice voting system, which is thought to save money on expensive runoff elections and elect the most broadly supported candidate. "We are pleased to see RVC outcomes, first choice margins, and citywide pluralities converging towards one clear leader, and that leader is London Breed".

Breed will serve out the remainder of Lee's term, and an election for a full four-year term will be held in November 2019.