Hill unclenching his jaw, but lead at polls is narrow

After waiting 17 years, the last few agonizing hours before claiming victory in the race for the 19th Assembly District’s Democratic nomination were enough to finally push Jerry Hill to jitters of wedding-day proportions and a near-breakdown.

“[Tuesday] was the longest, most nerve-racking day of my life,” said Hill, who began campaigning for the post in late 2006. “My emotions were just on edge. … [I was] almost shaking, and my stomach was in a knot the entire day.”

The longtime San Mateo councilman and county supervisor was leading in the vote tally Wednesday afternoon over Gina Papan, the mayor of Millbrae, after Tuesday’s primary election.

In a statement Wednesday, Papan did not concede to Hill. She said she will be waiting for updated results, which will be released Friday.

“With thousands of ballots yet to be counted we are awaiting the final results,” Papan said in the statement.

Hill was leading Papan Wednesday by a single percentage point. San Mateo Community College Board President Richard Holober will likely finish third.

If Hill is indeed the victor, he will be the overwhelming favorite in November’s election against Republican Catherine Brinkman and Libertarian Brian Perry. Incumbent Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco will be termed out in January.

Holober said early absentee ballots hurt his effort to overcome his opponents’ more recognizable names and “political machine operations.”

“I had to introduce myself to voters who weren’t as familiar with me,” Holober said. “That doesn’t happen overnight.”

After helping serve the county from the inside for 17 years, Hill can begin turning his attention to Sacramento. There, he said, he plans on working to improve health care and resolve the state budget crisis.

During his final months on the Board of Supervisors, Hill said, he would like to reach a resolution on an adult health care initiative and see the San Mateo Medical Center find more solid financial footing.

If Hill wins in the November election, the remaining four county supervisors must appoint a fifth member or hold a special election in early 2009 to fill the remainder of Hill’s term, which expires in late 2010.

The 19th Assembly District is located entirely within San Mateo County, between parts of San Carlos and sections of Daly City, excluding Colma and including the entire coast.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City is seeking to enhance health care for San Francisco International Airport workers, which include more than 100 who have tested positive for COVID-19. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Airlines, business groups fight new health insurance requirements for SFO workers

Heathy Airport Ordinance would require companies to offer family coverage or increase contributions

The Hall of Justice building at 850 Bryant St. is notorious for sewage leaks and is known to be seismically unsafe. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD speeding up Hall of Justice exit after another ‘large leak’

San Francisco police can’t get out of the decrepit Hall of Justice… Continue reading

The main entrance to Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Voting rights of seniors, disabled must be protected

Coronavirus pandemic adds new challenges for accessing the polls

The Telegraph Quartet is pictured during its SF Music Day 2020 recording session at the striking, beautifully lit and almost empty Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Marcus Phillips)
SF Music Day goes virtual with Herbst broadcast

Performers pre-record sets in empty, iconic theater

Dr. Vincent Matthews, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, said Tuesday that student would not be back in school before the end of this calendar year. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Superintendent: City schools will not reopen before the end of the year

San Francisco public schools won’t reopen to students for the rest of… Continue reading

Most Read