SF 2008 Election Winners & Losers

Categories: Election 2008

gavin.jpgAlthough there are thousands of uncounted absentee votes left, as well as the ranked-choice craziness, there’s enough precinct data to make a preliminary list of Election Day winners and losers. So with that caveat, here we go…

By Will Harper


Labor: Seems like almost anything or anyone the San Francisco Labor Council endorsed is winning voter support including the bond for General Hospital and, perhaps more importantly, its favored candidates for supervisor in the key swing districts, Eric Mar in District 1 and David Chiu in District 3. Labor’s candidate in District 11, John Avalos, is also winning, but that race is too close to call at this point.

The Progressives: Dare we say there is a progressive political machine in the city now? It turns out that taking over the Democratic County Central Committee was a stroke of genius. Combining the Democratic Party brand with local labor’s footsoldiers proved potent.

District Attorney Kamala Harris: She wasn't on the ballot, but Harris ranks as an Election Day winner by virtue of having been an early supporter of Obama. A post in the new administration could be her reward.

Jim Stearns: He is now the political consultant to hire if you’re a lefty in San Francisco. He did the slate card for the new-look SF Democratic Party, and despite the hits his client David Chiu took in District 3, Chiu is cruising to victory.

Eric Jaye: PG&E hired the mayor’s political strategist to run the $10 million-plus campaign to defeat Prop. H. Jaye didn’t do anything brilliant—the No on H campaign followed the same playbook as all previous anti-public power campaigns—but that doesn’t matter ‘cause the dude made bank off this race.


Gavin Newsom: Gay marriage is going down in flames, the candidates he endorsed for supervisor in the three key swing districts are losing, and his sponsored ballot measures for a community justice center (Prop. L) and changing the makeup of the Transportation Authority are getting creamed. Those who criticize Newsom for having no coattails may have a point.

Same-Sex Spouses: On the same night Americans made history by electing the country’s first black president, Californians denied marriage rights to gay couples. Expect lots of speculation in the coming days about the Obama Effect, the suspicion that socially conservative blacks and Latinos who turned out at the polls in large numbers to vote for Obama, also opposed gay marriage and helped pass Prop. 8.

The Downtown Lobby: The hundreds of thousands of dollars it poured into the supes races didn’t appear to have much effect. The strategy of linking lefty candidates to Chris Daly obviously didn’t work.

Public Power: For the fourth time in 7 years, San Francisco voters rejected public power. With 577 out of 580 precincts reporting, Prop. H is losing 59-41 percent. The Guardian has never accepted no for answer before on this issue, and we don’t expect them to now. In fact, Guardian editor Tim Redmond just blogged: “It appears the progressives will still have control of the Board; this isn't going away.” Unfrigginbelievable.

Is there anybody you would add to this list? Post a comment.

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