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Breed takes lead in San Francisco’s mayoral race by 498 votes

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Mayoral candidate London Breed waves as she arrives at an Election Day luncheon at John’s Grill on the back of a trolley car with state Sen. Scott Wiener and SF Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Board of Supervisors President London Breed has taken the lead Saturday in San Francisco’s mayoral race after the Department of Elections counted more than 20,000 ballots since Friday.

Early Wednesday morning, former state Sen. Mark Leno led by 1,146 votes. His lead over Breed has decreased each day as more ballots are counted. On Friday, after about 32,200 more ballots were counted since early Wednesday, Leno’s lead over Breed was 144 votes.

On Saturday, after the department counted 23,313 ballots since Friday’s announced tally, Breed took the lead by 498 votes.

Breed is now ahead of Leno by 94,771 votes, or 50.13 percent, to Leno’s 94,273 votes, or 49.87 percent.

Breed has notably shown increasing strength in voters’ first choice votes. She led Leno in first choice votes early Wednesday by nearly 10 percent, and now leads Leno in first choice votes by 11 percent.

Leno is able to make up for this by benefiting from Supervisor Jane Kim’s supporters. More of her supporters voted for Leno as their second choice than Breed, under ranked-choice voting. In this latest tally, when Kim, who came in third, is eliminated, Leno receives 35,872 votes from those who voted for Kim, or 77 percent, while Breed receives 10,693.

The Department of Elections has counted 209,697 ballots, nearly 44 percent of the registered voters in San Francisco. The department estimates it has 42,000 more ballots to count. That includes about 14,000 provisional ballots, of which more than 90 percent are expected to be valid.

The ballots counted since Friday include about 2,700 vote-by-mail ballots that the post office delivered to the department on Election Day, and about 20,300 ballots that voters dropped off at polling places.

The department will announce an updated tally next on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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