District Attorney candidate Chesa Boudin speaks at his election party at SoMa Streat Food Park on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Chesa Boudin won the DA race. But when will he take office?

Chesa Boudin will be the next district attorney of San Francisco, but exactly when he will assume the role is among the unanswered questions prompted by the stunning outcome of the election Saturday.

His opponent in the contest, Suzy Loftus, has been serving as the interim top prosecutor since Mayor London Breed appointed her last month to succeed former District Attorney George Gascon.

On Sunday, Breed congratulated the progressive challenger on his victory over her preferred candidate in the race without saying whether she would appoint him to the position before his term officially begins in January.

“While the mayor was proud to support Suzy Loftus for district attorney, she congratulates Chesa Boudin on his election,” said Jeff Cretan, a spokesperson for Breed. “We will work with both the interim DA and the DA-elect to ensure a smooth transition that works best for the District Attorney’s Office and The City.”

Boudin declined to comment on the transition Sunday without having first talked to the mayor. But days before the election Tuesday, he urged her to appoint the winner of the contest to the interim role.

Breed had drawn criticism for appointing Loftus to the position in the middle of the race. The contest was supposed to be San Francisco’s first open district attorney’s race in more than a century.

When Loftus conceded the race to Boudin on Saturday, she said she would “work to ensure a smooth and immediate transition.” As of Sunday morning, a spokesperson for Loftus said, “We are talking to the mayor about making the transition soon and the details aren’t worked out yet.”

Boudin declared victory in the race Saturday after the most recent election results showed him ahead of Loftus by more than 2,400 votes with only 1,200 more ballots to count.

The latest numbers released late Sunday afternoon confirmed his victory, showing that Boudin had 2,825 more votes than Loftus. The Department of Elections said it had “mostly completed the processing of ballots.”

Boudin, 39, is a former deputy public defender and the son of radical activists who were imprisoned in connection with the deaths of three people. As the ballots were being counted Friday, he was visiting his father in a New York prison.

Boudin claimed victory despite the mayor giving Loftus a boost in publicity when she appointed her as interim district attorney, and hundreds of thousands in spending against his campaign by the police union.

Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, decried the outcome of the election.

“Unfortunately, the election results mean that San Francisco residents will have to suffer through another four years of the George Gascon style policies that have plagued our city and decimated public safety,” Montoya said in a statement.

On Saturday night, Boudin celebrated his victory at El Rio in the Mission District.

Boudin said he didn’t appreciate the SFPOA’s negative ads, but that he is here to “work with everybody.”

“We can celebrate tonight and tomorrow the hard work begins,” Boudin said.

This story has been updated to include additional information.

S.F. Examiner Staff Writer Laura Waxmann contributed to this report.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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