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Who do Willie Brown and other SF politicos think will win local elections?

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The Election Day gathering at John’s Grill included some big political names and some big political predictions. (Laura Dudnick/S.F. Examiner)

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Few traditions are as tried and true as election predictions.

It’s a bit of a silly exercise, perhaps. I mean, won’t we know who won up and down the ticket tomorrow — or later in the week — anyhow?

Still, as On Guard milled about John’s Grill for Election Day drinks, I couldn’t help but ask folks to look into their own personal crystal balls.

There were many milling about to ask: Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Ed Lee, former mayor Willie Brown and a bevy of on-the-ground politicos who aren’t household names, but whose smarts drive our local elections.

Surprisingly, some more “moderate” leaning Democrats I spoke with called District 9 and District 1 as wins for the progressives: Hillary Ronen and Sandra Fewer, respectively.

That’s key, because three of the five supervisor seats up for re-election are currently progressives. If the moderates win even one, they tip the balance of ideology on the board.

Fewer’s name-recognition from years on the school board made her the favorite over newcomer Marjan Philhour, though there was concern Philhour’s nearly $1 million-backing from tech moguls might undermine that star power.

Every person I asked saw Board of Supervisors President London Breed winning her re-election bid versus progressive Dean Preston. The only question was just how badly Preston would lose.

The real nail biter is District 11, where moderate and second-time runner Ahsha Safai is vying for a supervisor seat versus progressive Kimberly Alvarenga, who worked in Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s office.

Drink in hand, I ran into David Ho, a community organizer and former protege of the late Rose Pak. He’s been stumping for Safai for months. When I asked how Safai would do, he smiled like a Cheshire cat said his man would win it.

I asked him: “How sure are you?”

“How sure? I’m drinking a lemonade in the middle of Election Day,” he said, pointing at his drink. “Does that answer your question?”

Fair enough!

My last stop in my election prediction dance was none other than hizzoner, Slick Willie. Last year on this day, famously, he was the only one to call the election (correctly) for Supervisor Peskin.

This year, I gave him a toughie: Which supervisor will make it to the state Senate, Scott Wiener or Jane Kim?

Willie dropped his previously beaming smile and gave me a grim look. He shook his head vigorously. “It’s just too close to call,” he said.

And anyone that says different, he added, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe@sfexaminer.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter.

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