Mayor, experts say Daly is likely winner

Chris Daly, San Francisco’s contentious District 6 supervisor, is headed to re-election victory, according to seasoned race watchers, as well as Mayor Gavin Newson.

Less certain, two days after Election Day, is the outcome of the Board of Supervisors District 4 race, a closely watched contest since the winner will determine whether Newsom retains the ability to veto laws passed by The City’s legislative body.

Although an incredibly close 49.66 percent of voters supported his candidacy as of Wednesday afternoon, Daly still did not have the 50 percent-plus majority needed to be declared the official winner and he could be headed to a ranked-choice runoff based on voters’ second and third choice ballot picks for the District 6 seat.

With more than 70,000 absentee and provisional ballots in The City still uncounted, however, Daly — who unapologetically puts the needs of his district’s neediest constituents above all others — could pick up the required majority in the next few days and avoid a runoff, San Francisco pollster David Binder said.

Daly’s main challenger for the District 6 seat was Rob Black, a former aide to District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who ran an anti-Daly campaign with the political and financial support of Daly’s enemies in the business community as well as the endorsement of Newsom.

On Wednesday, Newsom said his support for Black came largely because he didn’t support Daly, but conceded that he didn’t actually think Black would beat the District 6 incumbent.

“No one thought Rob Black could win except Rob Black,” Newsom said, adding that he hoped Black’s success in garnering nearly 40 percent of the votes would “remind Supervisor Daly and all of us that it’s important to reach out to everyone, not just those people who agree with you.”

Reached on Wednesday, Black said he wasn’t ready to “concede the race until we’ve counted allthe votes.”

Every vote will seemingly count in the race to fill the District 4 seat that is being vacated by Supervisor Fiona Ma, since three candidates came to a close finish Tuesday night, each winning about one-fourth of the votes cast.

Garnering the most first-choice votes was local businessman Ron Dudum with 27.3 percent, followed by longtime community activist Ed Jew with 24.7 percent of votes. Ma’s former legislative aide, Jaynry Mak, picked up the third highest amount of votes, 22.8 percent. Former Police Commissioner Doug Chan, who was endorsed by Newsom, lagged behind with 16 percent of the votes, which, according to Binder, pushed him out of the race.

With ranked-choice voting — in which ballots cast for the last-place candidates are then given to the voters’ second and possibly third ballot choice — the contest could fall to any of the other three, Binder said. Rank-choice voting results will come in Friday at the earliest, according to election officials.

With Ma, Newsom had an ally and was assured of the four votes needed to veto any legislation the Board of Supervisors passed. Although hopes for Chan to fill the seat have been dashed, Newsom said the good news about the other three possibilities is “that I’ve got a good relationship with all of them.”

beslinger@examiner.com

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