Ross Mirkarimi leads with most votes tallied to be next San Francisco sheriff

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi remained the clear front-runner Wednesday evening in the race to be the next San Francisco sheriff, although his two main contenders remained mathematically alive, with some votes left uncounted.

Click on the photo at right to see a chart on the San Francisco sheriff race results.

According to updated figures from the Department of Elections, Mirkarimi was capturing 52.77 percent of the final, securing his likely victory over his main challengers Paul Miyamoto and Chris Cunnie.

With about 32,000 write-in and provisional ballots still left to be tallied, one of these challengers would need to win the lion’s share of the uncounted votes to leapfrog Mirkarimi.

Mirkarimi had a 9 to 10 percent lead over Miyamoto and Cunnie after the first round of voting. In ranked-choice voting tabulations, Miyamoto narrowly squeezed by Cunnie for second place, with 30.7 percent of the vote versus 29.8 percent.

The new sheriff will face some significant challenges as the replacement to longtime Sheriff Michael Hennessey. Realignment is set to gradually shift hundreds of inmates from state prisons to San Francisco’s county jail system, which is managed by the sheriff. Separate reforms are also being pushed to keep more criminals out of the state’s overcrowded prison system, which could mean a greater influx of offenders in San Francisco jails.

Assuming Mirkarimi is named sheriff, the remainder of his term on the Board of Supervisors would be filled out by someone appointed by Mayor Ed Lee. As a progressive member of the fractious Board of Supervisors, Mirkarimi’s replacement is likely to give the newly elected moderate mayor a veto-proof majority on many issues.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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