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Chesa Boudin takes narrow lead over Suzy Loftus in DA contest

Progressive challenger Chesa Boudin took the lead over interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus in the race to become San Francisco’s top prosecutor in Friday’s latest vote tally from the Department of Elections.

Boudin closed the gap on Loftus Thursday, reducing Loftus’ lead from 2,205 votes to 879 votes.

But on Friday, Boudin took the lead and is now ahead of Loftus by 156 votes. Boudin has 78,809 votes and Loftus 78,653. This is the first time Boudin has led in ranked-choice voting.

Boudin tweeted a link to the latest results and wrote: “San Francisco!! We are all feeling the momentum for change in this city!”

The Department of Elections said that they have 15,500 ballots remaining to count, which includes 13,461 provisional ballots and 500 conditional voter registration ballots.

“This is a huge day for us,” said Boudin’s campaign manager, Kaylah Williams, who erupted in cheers with other supporters gathered in the ground floor of City Hall at the Department of Elections when the latest numbers showed Boudin ahead.

“There is still a lot of votes left to be counted,” Williams said. But she noted that there were a large number of provisional ballots in Boudin’s base areas of The City, Districts 5, 8 and 9.

The Department of Elections provided data showing there were 5,164 provisional ballots remaining to count from those three districts alone.

Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University, agreed that the tally “bodes very well” for Boudin.

“Today’s results and the expected distribution of the remaining provisional ballots towards progressive candidates, it is very likely that Boudin will be the next DA,” McDaniel said on Twitter.

In The City’s other close race, District 5 progressive challenger Dean Preston has maintained his lead over Supervisor Vallie Brown at 35 votes. Preston has 10,651 votes and Brown 10,616.

No one is declaring victory yet in what could become one of the closest supervisorial elections since 2000.

“We just remain hopeful,” said Preston’s campaign manager Jen Snyder. “Hopefully tomorrow is another day in our favor.”

McDaniel also said that Preston is “very likely” the winner of the District 5 contest.

John Arntz, director of the Department of Elections, said the plan is to first count the provisionals cast by voters in District 5, of which there are 1,833. Arntz said they could have these District 5 provisionals all counted Saturday, but it could carry over into Sunday.

The next update is scheduled for Saturday at 4pm.

If both progressive candidates prevail, it would represent a significant political blow to Mayor London Breed.

Joshua Sabatini

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Joshua Sabatini
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