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Wiener enjoying ‘nearly insurmountable’ lead against Kim in state Senate race

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Supervisors Scott Wiener and Jane Kim are both vying for the District 11 state Senate seat. (Yesica Prado/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Supervisor Scott Wiener is enjoying such a comfortable lead in the District 11 state Senate race that speculation has already begun on who Mayor Ed Lee will appoint to fill his District 8 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Wiener is leading Supervisor Jane Kim by five points as of Wednesday, according to the latest election results.

Tens of thousands of vote by mail ballots remain to be counted, but Wiener has 52.5 percent of the vote, or 142,059 votes, while Kim has 47.5 percent of the vote, or 128,431 votes. That includes both San Francisco and northern San Mateo County voters.

Kim was trailing Wiener on the night of the June primary by 2 percent, but after more ballots were counted in subsequent days she surpassed Wiener and won the primary.

But 5 points is virtually unbeatable, said David Latterman, who worked on Wiener’s campaign, and political consultant Alex Clemens during the annual post-election recap hosted by public policy think tank SPUR.

“Jane has to move up 5 points. It’s a steep climb. It’s not impossible, but it’s steep,” Latterman said.

Clemens added, “This is nearly insurmountable.”

But Kim on Wednesday said it was too early to determine the outcome of the contest.

“There are more than 100,000 votes to be counted,” Kim said in a text message to the San Francisco Examiner. “We’re going to wait for counting to proceed before we make any determination about outcome.”

Wiener, meanwhile, has yet to declare victory. “We remain cautiously optimistic but are waiting for more ballots to be counted,” Wiener’s campaign manager Maggie Muir said.

A Wiener victory means there would be a vacancy in the District 8 seat on the Board of Supervisors, and Mayor Ed Lee would be tasked with appointing someone to fill that seat.

Names mentioned by Clemens and Latterman during the meeting included Conor Johnston, a legislative aide to Board of Supervisors President London Breed; Retired Navy Cmdr. Zoe Dunning who fought the military’s ban on the LGBT community in 1993; and Alex Randolph, who was re-elected to the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

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