By Danielle Silva
With only 1,200 votes left to count, Chesa Boudin receives a narrow win over interim district attorney Suzy Loftus in the San Francisco District Attorney race.
As of yesterday, Boudin led the race with 85,950 votes to Loftus’s 83,511. The two had been the front-runners of the race, with both taking slim leads over the other. Boudin headed the race during election night with 33% of the votes compared to Loftus at 31%, Nancy Tung at 21% and Leif Dautch at 15%. On Wednesday morning, Loftus was reported to be leading with 240 votes. The percentages continued to change as more votes were counted and ranked-choice was taken into account.
The San Francisco District Attorney race is decided through ranked-choice voting. Voters rank candidates as to whom they’d prefer to be in the position. The last-place candidate will have their tickets redistributed to the other candidates until there are only two candidates left.
In a tweet from Loftus, she states, “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. Congratulations to Chesa Boudin. I will work to ensure a smooth and immediate transition.”
Loftus was appointed by Mayor London Breed as interim District Attorney following DA George Gascón’s resignation and 17 days before the election. According to a poll by Public Policy, 40% of participants did not approve of Loftus’s appointment, with 25% agreeing with the decision and 35% unsure. This was taken from a pool of 529 San Francisco voters from October 11 to 13.
Loftus had also gained endorsements from Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Dianne Feinstein, CA State Senator Scott Wiener, CA State Assemblymember David Chiu, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Officers for Justice, and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Managers and Supervisors Association.
In contrast, Boudin has been receiving ad attacks from the San Francisco Police Officers Association. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the ads declared Boudin as “the number one choice of criminals and gang members.”
CBS also noted in a statement to Boudin’s win that the SF Police Officers Association stated, “Unfortunately, the election results mean that San Francisco residents will have to suffer through another four years of the George Gascon style policies that have plagued our city and decimated public safety.”
Boudin is considered another attorney joining the movement of progressive prosecutors across the nation, creating his campaign on criminal justice reform. His policies include increasing police accountability and eliminating money bail. He received endorsements from Senator Bernie Sanders, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, Civil Rights Icon Angela Davis, Musician John Legend, Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of Real Justice PAC Shaun King, and Restorative Justice International.
During his election night, he noted how he outlined his policies in detail so he would be kept accountable to his campaign promises.
“Hold me accountable,” Boudin stated.
“What comes next is essential,” Boudin stated. “We cannot do this alone. We must continue to grow and demand.”
He had also mentioned to the Vanguard that he wanted to continue the progressive movement past the work of Queens DA Tiffany Caban, Suffolk DA Rachel Rollins, and Chicago DA Kimberly Foxx as examples. Boudin admired what they’ve accomplished but did not find it enough, seeing them as the beginning of a movement and winning the election as simply another step toward pushing for more progressive reforms.
Following the announcement of his win as he returned from visiting his father, who is currently incarcerated in New York, Boudin stated, “The people of San Francisco have sent a powerful and clear message. It’s time for radical change to how we envision justice. I’m humbled to be a part of this movement that is unwavering in its demand for transformation.”