San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi today declared victories in their respective races for the county’s top attorney and for sheriff.
Because neither candidate received a majority vote in Tuesday’s election, each of those races was determined using the ranked-choice system, which allows voters to rank up to three candidates.
After days of vote tally adjustments, both candidates made their individual announcements outside of the city’s Department of Elections this afternoon in the basement of City Hall.
Gascon, who will hold on to his position but now has the distinction of being the city’s first elected Latino district attorney, was all smiles as he stood with his arm wrapped around his wife during his announcement.
“I am extremely honored,” he said. According to the vote tallies released by the city today, Gascon garnered 62.3 percent of the vote compared to criminal justice scholar and former police commissioner David Onek’s 37.2 percent.
Gascon was previously San Francisco’s police chief but was appointed to his current post by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in January after Kamala Harris was elected the state’s attorney general.
His opponents in the race had criticized him for his lack of prosecutorial experience and perceived conflicts of interest in cases involving the Police Department that he previously oversaw.
“Frankly, I was somewhat offended at times,” Gascon said of the allegations. But he said the fact that he was the top vote-getter shows “that I have the fortitude to do the right things at the right times.”
Mirkarimi, flanked by his wife, Eliana Lopez, said that judging by today’s vote tally, “we’re more than encouraged” to declare victory in the sheriff’s race.
Mirkarimi and his opponents ran to become San Francisco’s first new sheriff in 32 years, replacing outgoing Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who announced earlier this year that he was not running for re-election.
Hennessey, who endorsed Mirkarimi in the race, was the longest-serving sheriff in San Francisco history and was an outsider when he began overseeing the department in 1980.
“You don’t have to come from the industry in order to do brilliant work,” Mirkarimi said.
Today’s tally showed that Mirkarimi had 53.1 percent of the vote compared to sheriff’s Capt. Paul Miyamoto’s 46.9 percent.
“Our position of victory is quite secure,” Mirkarimi said.
Although these victories have been decided, questions have been swirling over who will replace Mirkarimi as District 5 supervisor.
Mirkarimi was elected to that office in 2004 and said that he spent countless hours walking the district to become intimately familiar with and address the district’s issues, such as violent crime.
“I have the shoe leather holes to prove it,” he said.
During his time in office, the district had the largest drop in violent crime in the city, he said, adding that he hopes his replacement builds on that work.
The district’s next supervisor, Mirkarimi said, needs to be “well-rounded but clear on those positions that I think represent the district,” which includes parts of the Inner Sunset, Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Haight-Ashbury, and the Western Addition neighborhoods as well as the Fillmore District.
Patricia Decker, Bay City News