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SF Supe Races Could Take Weeks to Decide

Jane Kim
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Jane Kim
With no clear winners in four contests, voters will have to wait for results in the ranked choice balloting

It might take three weeks to determine which candidates prevailed in San Francisco’s four contested supervisorial races, although hints that have started to emerge could firm up this week.

No clear leaders had emerged for Board of Supervisors districts 2, 6, 8 or 10 — the only contested races — by Wednesday morning.

Under San Francisco’s ranked choice voting system, losing candidates’ votes are redistributed to voters’ second and third preferences. Determining the winners of such races can be time-consuming.

“We will not know the final results for approximately three weeks,” San Francisco Elections Department Director John Arntz said in an e-mail. “We will release a preliminary RCV (ranked-choice voting) report on Friday that will include the ballots counted until that time.”

Local political analyst and consultant David Latterman said the results of uncounted absentee votes and Friday's report will provide insights into the likely outcomes of the four contested races.

Jane Kim has a good chance of winning District 6, an inner-city district that will be vacated by termed-out lawmaker Chris Daly, according to Latterman. He warned that more information is needed before he could predict a victory in the race.

Scott Wiener has similarly good prospects of winning District 8, which encompasses the Castro, according to Latterman. The district is currently represented by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who is termed out.

But District 2, covering a high-income chunk of the city’s northwest, and District 10, which runs along San Francisco’s low-income southeastern shoreline, are both “completely undecided,” Latterman said.

“Ten is a clusterfuck,” Latterman said. “It’s unprecedented that it’s this close — I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

The race for District 10 saw 21 candidates vying to represent the highly diverse area, which includes the Bayview, Dogpatch, Potrero and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods. Residents of the district struggle with high unemployment rates, associated crime and high instances of asthma and other illnesses caused by industrial pollution.

Theater professional Tony Kelly was leading the race for District 10 on Wednesday morning, with 13.4 percent of the first-rank votes.

“I feel good about the RCV thing because I ran the kind of campaign that does get second choice votes – others didn’t,” Kelly said early Wednesday afternoon. "I feel confident. I feel more confident than I would if I were in second place. I've just got to let it go through now."

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