Board of Supervisors President David Chiu claimed the Assembly District 17 seat Thursday evening after fellow Supervisor David Campos conceded in the heated race lasting nearly a year.
Campos' decision came after his opponent's Election Night lead increased to nearly 3,800 votes Thursday. Both candidates hung on in suspense of the outcome when Election Day results showed Chiu with a narrow lead of 2,397 votes with tens of thousands of ballots left to count.
But as the Department of Elections tallied more ballots in the past two days Chiu's lead only increased, signaling he would ultimately prevail.
After receiving a concession call from Campos, Chiu looked ahead to Sacramento, saying “I want to fight to make sure that Sacramento delivers real results for the people of our city on the challenges of our time – from housing affordability and education to transportation and the environment.” The statement continued, “For six years, I have been working to make City Hall more effective by bringing all sides together to get things done for all San Franciscans. I am honored that the voters have supported our vision of continuing to move San Francisco forward.”
Campos, who is openly gay and the more left leaning candidate in the race, invoked the memory of former gay rights leader Harvey Milk in a statement Thursday night.
“As I write this my thoughts are with Supervisor Harvey Milk. Forty-two years ago Harvey made a similar call when he lost his own race for the 17th Assembly district by fewer than 4,000 votes,” Campos said. “It was one of many races that Harvey lost … and yet the message that is most associated with him is that of hope. Right now my heart is filled with hope.”
Campos will remain serving as the District 9 member of the Board of Supervisors while Chiu will succeed Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. Chiu's victory sets in motion local political events. The board is expected to elect among the 10 remaining supervisors an interim president. And Mayor Ed Lee will appoint someone to fill the District 3 supervisor seat Chiu vacates, which may not happen until January to ensure under the election laws that the appointee can serve two full four-year terms.
Campos' campaign had called attention to The City's growing income inequality gap, the rise in evictions and unrest about the technology industry's growth displacing long-time residents.
“We have sent a powerful message that the people of San Francisco are alive, spirited, and ready to fight for our values and way of life,” Campos said. “We made clear that we love this city, refuse to be pushed out and are a force to be reckoned with.”