The heated state Assembly District 17 race between Board of Supervisors colleagues David Campos and David Chiu remained undecided at press deadline, underscoring just how close the candidates are in public support as well as political ideology.
Due to a mildly contested gubernatorial race resulting in a landslide victory for incumbent Jerry Brown, voter turnout was low.
Chiu successfully mobilized the Asian-American community and got endorsements from more than two dozen labor groups, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the Bay Area Reporter.
Meanwhile, Campos had endorsements from termed-out District 17 Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who is also gay, the Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund and fewer labor organizations.
While both candidates are progressive in the broader political spectrum, Campos in his campaign vowed to fight for the low and middle class and framed Chiu as the moderate in the race backed by big money.
One of the biggest differences between the two was money. Chiu received a $200,000 independent expenditure donation from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. The other donor to the independent expenditure group was the wife of billionaire and tech venture capitalist Ron Conway.
“The reason these billionaires are spending hundreds of thousands against me is because they know I'm going to be an advocate of regular people,” Campos said.
Chiu reiterated his track record of passing legislation is lengthier and including pieces protecting low-income tenants.
“He and I have been similar on most issues, but the real difference has been in who has been effective in actually delivering results in San Francisco,” Chiu said.
Campos and Chiu far outshadowed Republican candidate David Carlos Salaverry.
Whoever wins will leave his seat on the Board of Supervisors to represent the eastern half of The City in the new session of the Assembly, which starts Dec. 1.
After Tuesday night’s final tally, there were still tens of thousands of ballots to be counted. It’s conceivable it could impact the D-17 race.
Department of Elections Director John Arntz estimated that there were anywhere between 36,000 to 50,000 vote by mail ballots that were not counted on Election Day and will be starting today. It’s unclear how many of those ballots were cast in the District 17 Assembly race. There are also another estimated 13,000 to 15,000 provisional ballots that have yet to be counted. Arntz said he expects to count all the ballots by next week.
Arntz said that voter turnout appeared to be around 50 percent but couldn’t be sure until all the ballots were tabulated. “If you go back to the November 2010 election, November 2006 election they were about 61, 62 percent. But if you go back to November 2002 that was around 54 percent,” Arntz said.
Examiner Staff Writer Joshua Sabatini contributed to this report.