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S.F. Election: Lee Re-elected, Peskin Wins, Airbnb Curbs Fail

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File photo. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Updated 5:00 p.m. Thursday

It was an off-year election, but in San Francisco one critical issue overarched a string of contests, as several propositions on the ballot were meant to address topic No. 1 in the city: housing affordability, or the lack thereof.

The outcome of two contentious propositions that were backed by progressives are all but certain to have lost. Proposition F would have capped short-term rentals like those arranged through Airbnb  at 75 nights a year for each unit, and saddled hosts with an array of other regulations. With fresh vote totals released Wednesday afternoon, Proposition F was losing by about 10 percentage points. Airbnb spent more than $8 million to defeat the measure.

Proposition I sought to impose a temporary moratorium on luxury housing development in San Francisco’s Mission District for at least 18 months, halting the construction of market-rate housing and any project larger than five units. It would have also developed a stabilization plan to preserve land that could be used for affordable housing, which has been impacted by gentrification and displacement of longtime residents. Proposition I is currently losing by about 15 points.


Meanwhile, Proposition A, a $310 million bond for affordable housing backed by the mayor, is passing easily, with 73.8 percent of the vote.

Mayor Ed Lee's re-election was never in doubt. He got 57 percent of first-choice votes, a percentage that increases to 69 percent after two rounds of ranked-choice voting. However, the field of what one publication's editor called "a clown car of neophytes and eccentrics" garnered a cumulative total of 43 percent. Make of that what you will.

And any feeling of invulnerability for Lee has to be tempered by the loss of Supervisor Julie Christensen, whom Lee had appointed to the District 3 seat. Losing by about 9 percentage points to Aaron Peskin, former Board of Supervisors president and a prominent Lee critic, Christensen released a concession statement:

"While there are still more ballots to be counted, the outcome is clear. I congratulate Mr. Peskin and wish him the best. Although I did not prevail last night, I am so grateful to Mayor Lee for appointing me as supervisor, and I appreciate the support of my colleagues, staff, supporters, and the residents of District Three while I served. This was an amazing opportunity and learning experience, and I look forward to continuing serving the community as an advocate for our neighborhoods in San Francisco."

Christensen's defeat means the board's progressive bloc now enjoys a 6-5 majority.

As for Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, he got swamped by former Chief Deputy Sheriff Vicki Hennesy.

Results below include votes counted through Thursday, Nov. 5, with all precincts reporting and 89,336 vote-by-mail ballots counted.

The city's Department of Elections said Thursday that it still had about 42,000 mail-in and provisional ballots to count. About 31,000 of them are mail-in.

For the first time, ballots postmarked by Election Day, and received by election officials up to three days after the election, will be counted. That means the San Francisco Department of Elections could be counting ballots through Saturday.


First Choice Votes
Ed Lee — 56.81%
Francisco Herrera — 14.66%
Amy Farah Weiss — 11.8%
Stuart Schuffman — 9.32%

Guide to the mayoral race


Final result pending

First Choice Votes
Vicki Hennessy — 61.15%
Ross Mirkarimi — 32.92%
John Robinson — 5.81%

Guide to the sheriff's race

Board of Supervisors, District 3

Final result pending

First Choice Votes
Aaron Peskin — 52.28%
Julie Christensen — 43.86%
Wilma Pang — 3.76%

Julie Christensen conceded to Aaron Peskin on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Guide to the District 3 race

Proposition A (Affordable Housing Bond)

Requires 66.66% "Yes" vote to pass

Yes — 73.84%
No — 26.16%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition B (Paid Parental Leave for City Employees)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 67.04%
No — 32.96%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition C (Expenditure Lobbyists)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 74.76%
No — 25.24%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition D (Mission Rock Development)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 73.63%
No — 26.37%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition E (Requirements for Public Meetings)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 33.34%
No — 66.66%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition F (Short-Term Residential Rentals)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 44.45%
No — 55.55%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition G (Disclosures Regarding Renewable Energy)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 22.75%
No — 77.25%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition H (Defining Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 79.84%
No — 20.16%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition I (Suspension of Market-Rate Housing in the Mission District)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 42.46%
No — 57.54%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition J (Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 56.63%
No — 43.37%

Guide to this proposition

Proposition K (Surplus Public Lands)

Requires simple majority to pass

Yes — 73.68%
No — 26.32%

Guide to this proposition

For complete results, visit the San Francisco Board of Elections website

Don Clyde, Dan Brekke and Rebecca Bowe contributed to this post.

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