Supervisors Scott Wiener and Jane Kim have advanced to face off against each other this November over who will serve as the District 11 state Senator, with Wiener taking a narrow lead in Tuesday’s primary.
Wiener and Kim, both Democrats, expectedly beat out third contender, Republican Kenneth Loo, to advance to a head-to-head contest in November.
November’s election will determine who succeeds the seat currently held by termed-out Sen. Mark Leno, representing San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.
Kim’s campaign got a significant boost just weeks before Election Day, when Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed her in the contest on May 24 — commonly referred to now as the “Bernie Bump.”
The endorsement generated political contributions and exposure. Since then, Kim has joined Sanders in the spotlight on several occasions, most recently on a walking tour of Chinatown and a Crissy Field concert and rally Monday. Kim even joined Sanders for an election morning breakfast.
Wiener initially held a significant lead over Kim. With early returns of about 89,000 vote-by-mail ballots counted, Wiener was up by 11 percent.
“I feel good,” Wiener said after the initial results. “We’re going to move on to November and continue the debate about what we’re doing in our city.”
Wiener later told his supporters he was fighting for core issues like “housing for everyone” and “better transportation.”
After votes from more than a third of the polling stations were counted, Kim trailed Wiener by around 5 percent.
“We are within a cutting edge of this race on June 7 and I could not have done it without the people power in this room,” Kim said after arriving at her campaign party. She added, “We have been outspent 3-to-1.”
As results were still coming in, Wiener said his contest with Kim is going to “be real close.” He added that he would “take a deep breath” then “fight and take it to the streets” as he resumes his campaigning for November.
At the end of the night, Wiener retained his lead over Kim by 2,800 votes, a gap of just 1.65 percent of the votes. The results are expected to change as the Department of Elections will continue to count the remaining ballots this week, such as those vote by mail ballots that were dropped off at polling stations Tuesday.
Both Kim and Wiener were elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010. Wiener represents District 8, the Castro and Noe Valley, and Kim District 6, the Tenderloin and South of Market.
The two are at the opposite ends of the San Francisco Democratic spectrum. Kim is a progressive politician and Wiener a moderate one.
Wiener had raised a significantly greater amount of money than Kim heading into Election Day, and received notable endorsements from Leno and the San Francisco Democratic Party. Kim is endorsed by tenant advocates and progressive leaders, as well as Sanders.
Both candidates have accomplished records on the Board of Supervisors.
Kim has fought for tougher eviction protections for tenants and negotiated major development deals in which affordable housing significantly exceeds requirements. She also was a leader in placing Proposition C on the June ballot to boost citywide affordable housing requirements in new developments.
Wiener has fought for more transit funding and passed ground-breaking policies like mandating solar installations on new buildings and fully-paid six weeks of parental leave.
S.F. Examiner staff writers Jonah Owen Lamb and Michael Barba contributed to this report.