This past Tuesday, appointed interim Mayor Ed Lee became the first ever Asian American to be elected Mayor of San Francisco. Due to the sixteen candidates running to replace departed Gavin Newsom and ranked choice voting, the final results were not made official until Wednesday.
Lee, a bureaucrat and political novice when he was appointed to the mayor’s job last January, finished with 61 percent of the vote after the second- and third-place ranked-choice votes were counted, well ahead of the 38 percent for Avalos. With 16 candidates in the race, it took 11 rounds before Lee moved past the required 50 percent mark. While Lee fell short of collecting a majority of first-place votes Tuesday night, his 31 percent gave him a commanding lead over Avalos, with 18 percent, and Herrera, with 11 percent.
Personally, I have mixed feelings, since I am a friend and supporter of Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and thought he was the most qualified, as did The San Francisco Chronicle. Had Lee not entered the race, as he had promised when appointed, there may have been a better chance that Chiu could have been elected. Nevertheless, San Francisco makes history by electing its first ever Asian American mayor, who was well liked and served the city well as interim mayor. For a city in the continental United States that has the highest percentage of Asian Americans at around 35%, I’m glad to have seen the day that the city elected a qualified Asian American candidate as mayor.
What’s kind of sad is that voter turnout for this election was only 31% Most San Francisco mayoral races have around 50% voter turnout (which that in itself is kind of sad). As I like to say, if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about your government.
[Image courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle.]