Nevin blames Papan for state Senate seat loss

In the wake of Assemblyman Leland Yee’s victory in the contentious state Senate 8th District Democratic primary, opponent Mike Nevin and some political observers are attributing his win to the “spoiler” effect of candidate and former Assemblyman Lou Papan.

Yee, a former San Francisco supervisor, who would be the first Chinese-American to win election to the state Senate should he win in November, was able to walk away with the race because Papan drew votes from former Supervisor Mike Nevin in his home county of San Mateo, according to one pollster.

“[Papan’s] presence in the race made it very difficult for Mike Nevin to win, whether it was intentional or unintentional,” said Ben Tulchin, an independent pollster for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

It is an argument Nevin has made. He has attributed Papan’s candidacy in part to a long-running feud between the two of them dating back at least five years.

“[Papan] is a bitter guy, and his entry into the race changed the dynamics, because I would have been able to concentrate in San Francisco, but instead I had to spend money and time in San Mateo covering my base,” Nevin said Wednesday.

“Clearly [Nevin] is upset about the outcome of the race,” Papan said, denying he entered as a spoiler. “He’s been making the same excuse since he started.”

Indeed, if one does the math, Nevin could have edged out Yee, but would have needed nearly 100 percent of Papan’s vote, according to elections figures.

Yee won the race to replace state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, for the District 8 seat — which encompasses the western half of San Francisco south to San Mateo and Belmont — with 37,637 votes or 49.7 percent, while Nevin garnered 27,704 or 36.6 percent. Papan managed 10,447, or 13.7 percent.

Yee campaign consultant Jim Stearns called the chance that Nevin would have won 100 percent of Papan’s votes “illogical.”

Instead, San Mateo County voters would have in all likelihood split along lines similar to Tuesday’s results, with Nevin taking about 43 percent and Yee winning 36 percent, still not enough for a Nevin victory, he said.

“In the end, voters looked past endorsements to pick the candidate who had a record of accomplishment on health care, education and environment,” Stearns said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

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

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

49ers battle with the Saints lives up to its billing

Kittle’s 39-yard catch-and-run had placed San Francisco in prime position for a game-winning field goal as the 49ers trailed 46-45

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Most Read