(KTSF by Sean Au)
With ballot-counting coming to an end, it is clear that Ed Lee will be leading San Francisco for the next four years. How will this change the political landscape in the City? What will happen to the other Chinese American candidates who lost?
With some 187,000 ballots cast, voter turnout of about 40% is way lower than the last competitive mayoral race 8 years ago. Political observers say, those motivated to vote tend to be moderate in their political view. They supported bonds for public education and rebuilding infrastructure, but were against taxes.
Among the 16 names in the mayoral race, 4 names appear the most frequently as voters’ first, second or third choice votes. They are: Ed Lee, Dennis Herrera, David Chiu and John Avalos, demonstrating their political clout.
Despite just getting 31% of the votes, Ed Lee will make his mark in city government over the next four years.
“Ed is going to be more hands-on,” says David Latterman, Associate Director for Graduate Program in Public Affairs and Practical Politics at the University of San Francisco. “He’s going to be more effective, in the nuts and bolts and the day-to-day operations of the City.”
Since progressive Ross Mirkarimi has been elected the County’s new sheriff, Ed Lee will have the chance to appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Mirkarimi’s term in the progressive district. His appointment may further pull the political leaning of the Board of Supervisors towards being more moderate-leaning.
Six odd-number supervisoral districts will head to the polls next year. At least 4 districts will be contested by Asian American candidates. Eric Mar of District 1 and David Chiu of District 3 will face re-election.
Prof Latterman adds that despite David Chiu’s poor showing in his own district against Ed Lee, if faced with a challenge, Chiu is still expected to hold on to his seat as he commands good support in other non-Chinatown neighborhoods within the district.
Latterman says, “Somebody, a Chinese person can take him on. Somebody from the Chinatown CDC can try and maybe get some votes. But David is going to do well in Chinatown regardless, based on this election, plus do really well in all the other neighborhoods. It is going to be difficult to unseat him in District 3.”
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