SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco’s nail-biting district attorney race is split by a little more than 2,000 votes after a second day of counting.
“We had some ballots come to us in the mail today,” explained San Francisco Department of Elections Director John Arntz. “I think it was 13,000 or 14,000.”
Nearly 70,000 ballots left to be counted but the 16,000 votes counted today pushed Suzy Loftus into a two percent lead in the San Francisco District Attorney’s race. This after three rounds of ranked choice voting.
She did not, however, receive the most first choice votes.
“People are hungry for change,” said Chesa Boudin, the public defender who beat three opponents for first choice votes in the race. “They’re hungry for a different, more humane, more effective approach to criminal justice that does more than just punish people in a revolving door.”
Boudin ran very much as the establishment opponent. Loftus was appointed to the job by Mayor London Breed just 17 days before the election.
How might the two of them handle the job differently?
“I would just say that being the district attorney is a very specific skill set,” explained former San Francisco prosecutor Tony Brass. “It doesn’t translate directly from any other job.”
Brass says Loftus has a more traditional DA background. But a Boudin victory might not seem all that different than the past several years.
“I think Gascon made his name on being a police reformer, and I think Chesa Boudin wants to do the same,” Brass said Wednesday. “Neither of them had even been prosecutor before.”
“You know, I’ve got a lot of experience on the ground that George Cascone didn’t have when he took office,” Boudin responded. “I spent most of the last seven years in San Francisco’s criminal courts. I’ve tried more than two dozen jury trials to verdict in front of San Francisco juries.”
Loftus declined to speak on camera today, saying she’ll wait for more results.
As for when final results may be available. “There might be some final processing,” Director Arntz said of the vote counting. “But I think the bigger numbers will be done by the end of next week.”