With San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom headed to Sacramento to become lieutenant governor and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris possibly joining him there as state attorney general, a number of scenarios are possible in the race to replace them.
The timing of their departures could be a factor, as well as the introduction of four new members of the 11-member Board of Supervisors.
Both Newsom and Harris, if she wins her close race, will take state office on Jan. 3, and the new members of the Board of Supervisors will take office Jan. 8. The board will also elect a new board president on that day.
Once a sitting mayor leaves office for any reason, the president of the Board of Supervisors, currently David Chiu, becomes acting mayor, with all the executive powers of mayor.
The Board of Supervisors can then choose to appoint, with a vote of at least six members, an interim mayor to hold the office until the next mayoral election on Nov. 8, 2011. Should Harris win, the mayor would also appoint an interim district attorney to serve until the next election for district attorney on the same date.
The makeup of the board will weigh heavily on those decisions. Though all members are Democrats, divides over issues in the city such as policing, social services, business and development have occurred among moderates and progressives.
Among the four outgoing supervisors, Michela Alioto-Pier, Sophie Maxwell, Bevan Dufty and Chris Daly, Alioto-Pier and Dufty are considered moderate.
Who will replace them on the board is still undecided as none of the candidates in Tuesday’s election received 50 percent of the vote in their districts.
The city’s ranked-choice voting system is being implemented over the next few weeks to decide winners. Official results are released 28 days after an election.
Elections Department Director John Arnst said today that his department will release preliminary ranked choice results on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Those results will not be official but may indicate trends.
“It’s a snapshot of the information that we have processed until that time,” Arnst said.
The department still has to count about 71,000 vote-by-mail ballots and 14,000 provisional ballots citywide, according to Arnst.
The current leaders in the four districts are Janet Reilly in District 2, Jane Kim in District 6, Scott Weiner in District 8, and Tony Kelly in District 10.
Reilly, a Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board member, is thought to lean progressive, as are Kim, president of the city’s Board of Education, and Kelly, a community activist. Weiner, a deputy city attorney, is considered more moderate.
Speculation is rampant on who the board might nominate for an interim mayor, a post that would provide a highly visible launching pad for a mayoral campaign or other political office.
The outgoing board could vote for an interim mayor at their last meeting on Jan. 4, or that decision could fall to the new board.
Ari Burack, Bay City News