By Betty Yu

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Chesa Boudin celebrated his victory at El Rio in the Mission Saturday night, after beating opponent Suzy Loftus by a razor-thin lead.

He was the most progressive candidate on the ballot and his campaign focused on reform over incarceration.

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“I know there’s a lot of distrust between San Francisco communities, and law enforcement, and my first job is going to be to roll up my sleeves and work with everybody, all stakeholders, all communities, and make sure we can rebuilt that trust so that we’re all safer,” said Boudin.

The bar was bursting with supporters and big smiles.

“Oh my god, I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven, we took our city back,” said supporter Winnie Porter.

Olivier Kroll said he was nervously watching results come in Saturday.

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“I think he’ll bring a whole new attitude to the District Attorney’s office, an attitude focused on the root causes of crime and not just locking people up,” said Kroll.

The premise of Boudin’s campaign: diverting people away from the criminal justice system and toward rehabilitation. The former public defender has also vowed to hold police more accountable in cases of brutality.
 
Boudin ran very much as the anti-establishment candidate, and was the target of attack ads saying he would be soft on crime.

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    Just weeks before the election, Mayor London Breed had appointed Suzy Loftus as interim DA.
     
    Loftus said in a statement in part, “I didn’t win the race – but we won the support of so many San Franciscans who are demanding that our city work more effectively together to build safety.”

    Boudin learned of his win on a plane Saturday evening. He was on his way back from New York, where he was visiting his father in prison. His parents were both incarcerated as members of the radical Weather Underground for their role in an armed robbery in New York that left three people dead.

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    “We talked about it, he was supportive and I think like most parents are concerned for our family and for our well-being in the midst of the tremendous responsibility that we’ve taken on to serve all San Francisco,” said Boudin.