Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Having conceded last week, gay man now winning San Mateo harbor race

Robert Bernardo

Robert Bernardo

Hours after the polls closed the night of Tuesday, November 4, gay incumbent San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Robert Bernardo took to his Facebook page to concede that he had lost his bid for re-election.

It seems he was too quick to give up.

A week later, with a full count of absentee and other remaining ballots posted by San Mateo County elections officials, Bernardo found himself in second place among the six people who were seeking one of two four-year terms on the commission.

The new vote total, posted the evening of Wednesday, November 12, had Bernardo with 30,337 votes, a lead of 205 votes over the other incumbent seeking re-election, Jim Tucker.

“I just woke up to some interesting news…Are my eyes deceiving me? This 2014 midterm election has been surreal!,” wrote Bernardo on his Facebook page early Thursday morning.

Still in first place in the race is bisexual marine biologist Nicole David. Her vote tally now stands at 59,056, according to the still unofficial returns.

Should the latest results hold, it would mean the five-person harbor commission would have a majority of out members. Lesbian graphic designer Sabrina Brennan, who backed David’s bid, won election to the oversight body in 2012 and is up for re-election in 2016.

Although she did not endorse Bernardo’s re-election effort, Brennan reacted with excitement at seeing Tucker be defeated, writing in her own Facebook post after the new vote count was released, “Let’s hope this trend continues!”

And LGBT leaders on the Peninsula were celebrating the possibility of a “rainbow majority” on the commission. It has oversight of two marinas, the bayside Oyster Point, which features East Bay ferry service, and the seaside Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay.

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 13, 2014 @ 12:38 pm PST
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