- San Francisco is expected to name its new mayor on Wednesday.
- The mayoral election took place last week, but the results were too close to call.
- The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that former state Senator Mark Leno, who briefly enjoyed an early lead, has conceded the race.
- Supervisor London Breed, known for being backed by high-profile tech execs, will likely be named mayor of San Francisco.
Supervisor London Breed will likely be named mayor of San Francisco later on Wednesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that former state Senator Mark Leno conceded the mayor’s race to Breed and called to congratulate her earlier today. The city will release the latest election results at 4 p.m. PT.
The city’s mayoral race was unresolved for a full week after election day, as votes cast for Breed and Leno were too close to call the race. Leno enjoyed a brief lead, but was eventually overtaken by Breed as more ballots were counted.
San Francisco uses ranked-choice voting for local elections, which means residents marked their first, second, and third picks for mayor on the ballot last Tuesday.
While Breed received far and away the most first-choice votes (nearly 12 percentage points over Leno and 13 over Supervisor Jane Kim), Leno held a slight lead after election night because of the number of second- and third-choice votes cast in his favor.
As of Wednesday morning, Breed had pulled ahead of Leno with a 1,861-vote advantage. There are about 9,360 votes still to be counted, according to the Chronicle.
The sudden death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in December prompted last week’s special election. The winning candidate will serve the balance of the late mayor’s term until January 2020. San Francisco will hold its next mayoral election in November 2019.
London Breed was the tech-backed mayoral candidate
Breed will make history as the city’s first African-American female mayor.
A 43-year-old San Francisco native, Breed was raised by her grandmother in local public housing, graduated from public schools, and worked her first job in public service as an intern in the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services.
- Steve Jennings/Getty
Breed was known for attracting support from some recognizable names in tech: Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway and his wife Gayle reportedly gave $200,500 to a super PAC supporting Breed; Twitter cofounder Ev Williams is said to have similarly given $150,500 to two Breed-supporting super PACs; and Ripple cofounder Chris Larsen, known as “the richest person in cryptocurrency,” put up $49,000.
A list of campaign contributions published by the City & County of San Francisco Ethics Commission shows that Facebook donated $35,000 to Breed, while Verizon threw in another $25,000.
Her cozy relationship with the tech industry put Breed in hot water throughout her campaign. Her opponents and colleagues on the Board of Supervisors criticized Breed for taking money from Conway, a tech investor who has funneled money into hundreds of startups as well as political campaigns for moderate and tech-friendly candidates.
After Lee’s death, Breed briefly stepped in as interim mayor. The Board of Supervisors moved swiftly to replace her with venture capitalist and politican Mark Farrell in the interim role, with the stated intent of avoiding the appearance of any conflict of interest between Breed’s formal candidacy, and her civic duties in that role.
Before the final vote that temporarily put Farrell in the mayoral seat, Supervisor Hillary Ronen gave a tear-filled speech condemning Breed’s ties to tech.
“I have to say it, there are white, rich men, billionaires, in this city who have steered the policies of the past two mayoral administrations, if not more,” Ronen said.
She added, “I hate to say it, I wish it weren’t so, but those white men are so enthusiastically supporting your candidacy, London Breed.”