Long Wait for Results in District 10 Race

By Lee Hubbard

Lynette Sweet

While the election took place over a week ago, the race for San Francisco Supervisor in District 10 is not decided. As the Post goes to press, votes are still being counted by the San Francisco Department of Elections to determine the winner of District 10, which includes Portrero Hill, Bay View Hunters Point, Portola and Visitation Valley. The top three vote getters are Tony Kelly, Lynette Sweet and Malia Cohen, with absentee votes left to count and 1,270 provisional ballots that also need to be counted. San Francisco, along with several other Bay Area cities, has instituted Instant Runoff Voting, which allows voters for losing candidates to pick their second and third choices for the office. District 10 saw 21 people run for Supervisor.  When the votes were first tallied, Tony Kelly had the most first place votes, but his lead has dwindled.  Some analyst have predicated that either Lynnette Sweet or Malia Cohen would be the eventual winner, based on the high number of provisional ballots, 570 in Bay View Hunters Point. However, nothing is for certain at this point. “No candidates have been eliminated from the contest; no one has won,” said San Francisco elections Chief John Artz on Friday afternoon.  “If you see a trend, good for you, but nothing’s final yet.” The election will not be called until Nov. 30, and things can change in this tight race. But the close to one-month delay has Sweet upset.

Malia Cohen

“This is taking too long, and it is confusing,” said Sweet. “The average person is not aware of the mathematical percentages that are coming up in the races.  It should be one person one vote, to make it simple and understood.” Last Friday, the Elections Department did an initial RCV tabulation on Friday that had Malia Cohen finish on top in a projection, with 51.36 percent to Tony Kelly’s 48 percent. Though nothing is official, the projection has Cohen optimistic. “I think our showing was good, and we ran a great campaign,” said Cohen.  “I think that the margins are very close, and this will be a quintessential example on why every vote counts. Kelly, a white progressive from Portrero Hill who runs the Thick Description Theater, was backed by Aaron Peskin, the head of the San Francisco Democratic Party, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian Newspaper.  Sweet, a BART Board director, has been a long time fixture in the area.  She was backed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and many Black pastors in the area.  Cohen, a Black political newcomer, was endorsed by the San Francisco Democratic Party.
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