Outgoing school board president Norman Yee declared victory today (Thursday, November 15) in the race for the open District 7 supervisor seat west of Twin Peaks.
On election night the progressive Yee had held a slight edge. But his vote tally then dropped him into second place as the city’s instant voter runoff system began tallying votes.
For several days after the election it appeared that labor leader Francis “FX” Crowley would claim the seat.
But last weekend Crowley’s front-runner status began to change as more uncounted ballots were added to the candidates’ totals and Yee regained the top spot. As of late this afternoon Yee had 12,448 votes or 50.26 percent.
Crowley remained in second place with 12,317 votes or 49.74 percent. In third was Board of Appeals President Mike Garcia with 7,449 votes or 26.38 percent.
After the latest vote count was announced by election officials, Yee’s campaign issued a statement saying he was ready to declare victory more than a week after the election.
“I am pleased that the final vote count has been completed, showing I have come out in front. I am so delighted that my first choice votes prevailed even with ranked choice factored in,” stated Yee in the release. “It has been a very long eight days since Election Night for my family and my supporters. Through it all, they have stood by me and provided encouragement.”
He will join another newcomer on the board, District 5 supervisor-elect London Breed, who defeated the incumbent, bisexual appointed Supervisor Christina Olague, in the contest for the seat centered in the Haight and Western Addition. The two freshmen lawmakers will help determine who becomes president of the Board of Supervisors after they are sworn into office in early January.
On Friday Crowley announced that he was not ready to concede the race. In an email to supporters, he said he may request a recount of the vote, which can not occur until the results are certified. Elections officials have until December 4 to do so.
“I am considering all of my options including a recount of ranked-choice votes. I feel grateful for the continued support and loyalty of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and the residents of District 7,” wrote Crowley. “I have said this many times before. I simply could not have come this far without your support, confidence and trust. I will keep you updated. Please know I remain committed to the people of District 7.”
Yee is a native San Franciscan and a 27-year resident of the Westwood Park neighborhood where he and his wife raised their two daughters. He thanked his opponents, who also included fourth-place finisher gay journalist Joel Engardio, for running a “dynamic race.”
“I think we can all agree that we care about San Francisco and District 7 and I would be honored to work with them to address issues like supporting small businesses and keeping jobs in San Francisco,” he stated.
And he praised incumbent District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who is termed out of office this year, for his eight years of service.
“I also want to thank him for reaching out to me to assure a smooth transition during the next few months,” stated Yee.