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Gordon Mar declares victory in District 4 supervisor race

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District 4 Supervisor-elect Gordon Mar toasts his election win with champagne alongside his campaign manager Edward Wright, field director Ryan McGilley, deputy field director Mitch Enfinger and deputy campaign manager Daisy Quan at his campaign headquarters on Irving Street in the Sunset District on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

UPDATE 6 pm:

Hours after Jessica Ho conceded to Gordon Mar in the District 4 contest, he declared victory outside of his campaign headquarters on Irving Street in the Sunset.

“While there are votes still to count, our lead is decisive, and my fellow candidates have graciously offered their congratulations on our victory,” Mar told the gathered reporters.

The election of Mar, who is a progressive, ends the tradition of the Sunset being represented by a moderate supervisor. His victory comes at a time when the contest didn’t have an incumbent for the first time in 12 years.

In one of The City’s most conservative district’s, Mar’s progressive cred could have worked against him.

“Throughout this campaign, I’ve always said that I should be judged on my track record of accomplishments and not political labels,” Mar said.

He noted that “my track record of accomplishments are also issues that are very important to working people and families and seniors in the Sunset, from raising the minimum wage to expanding services for seniors to creating free City College.”

Among his first priorities, Mar said, was to advance plans to “create a City College satellite campus” in the Sunset. That would start with night and weekend classes at A.P Giannini Middle School.

Mar credited his victory to his experience, which his leading moderate challenger lacked.

“Pretty clearly the distinguishing factor between us is our experience. I have decades of experience and a track record of accomplishments. She lacked that. I do think that was a decisive criteria for a lot of the voters here in the neighborhood.”

Mar also said that outside spending from tech and real estate interests backing Ho rubbed Sunset voters the wrong way.

“There was a lot of concern and even anger about that kind of money being poured into a district supervisor race,” Mar said.

He said he had not yet given any thought as to who he would support to serve as president of the board, a vote that will occur on Jan. 8, moments after he is sworn into office.

Mar has yet to hear from Mayor London Breed, who endorsed Ho in the contest. In fact, Mar has yet to hear from Breed since he first reached out to her when he filed to run back in June.

“I reached out to the mayor two months ago wanting to talk about my candidacy and the race, and never heard back from her,” Mar said. But he said he wants to work collaboratively with Breed. “I look forward to meeting with the mayor hopefully soon,” Mar said. “I do want to work closely with the mayor on many issues that we share common concern and ideas about.”

District 4 Supervisor-elect Gordon Mar speaks to the media outside his campaign headquarters on Irving Street in the Sunset District following Jessica Ho’s concession on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

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Jessica Ho, legislative aide to Supervisor Katy Tang, has conceded to Gordon Mar in the District 4 contest to represent the Sunset on the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Ho’s campaign confirmed to the Examiner Thursday morning that she had conceded. Mar is expected to declare victory later today.

The concession comes after Wednesday’s updated vote count by the Department of Elections showed Mar’s lead on Ho increased from 1,626 to 1,733 under ranked choice voting. Among voter’s first place votes, Mar received 35 percent, or 5,959 votes, while Ho received 26 percent, or 4,448 votes, according to the latest update.

The department continues to count tens of thousands of ballots cast citywide. The next updated count is scheduled to be released at 4pm.

With Mar’s victory in the Sunset District, a district long held by a moderate supervisor, the board’s progressive faction gains votes on the board and political strength at City Hall.

“You have perhaps now the most left-leaning person on the board taking over the most conservative district in the city. If you’re a moderate there is a lot of place to lay blame. If you are a progressive you are thrilled,” said David Latterman, a political consultant, when co-hosting Wednesday SPUR’s traditional post-election recap. “This was sort of a gift out of nowhere.”

Current District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang surprised many when she announced in June she wouldn’t run for another four-year term just before the filing deadline closed. But under city rules, if there’s is no incumbent in the race an additional five days is allowed to file for the race. That allowed the progressives to tap Mar, who was the executive director of Jobs with Justice, for the contest.

Tang tapped Ho to run, even though Ho had only just moved to the district in March from Los Angeles. The lack of time she had lived in the district played a large factor in her defeat.

“Ultimately you have to question the decision that Katy made … who she picked and how she did it,” Latterman said.

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