From left to right: Tina Collins, London Breed and Post Reporter Wade Woods on election night at Breed victory celebration..
By Lee Hubbard
In a hotly contested race for supervisor in San Francisco’s District 5, London Breed, executive director of the African American Cultural Center in the Western Addition, defeated incumbent Christina Olague in five rounds of instant run off voting to become the new supervisor of the district.
“During the race, I stayed focus on running a good and solid campaign, and people flocked to my campaign,” said Breed, speaking at her campaign party as the results were announced.
The District 5 race saw seven people competing for the seat in the district that includes areas such as Lower Pacific Heights, Haight Ashbury, Fillmore, Western Addition and Japantown.
Christina Olague was appointed supervisor to the seat by Mayor Ed Lee at the start of 2012, after former District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was elected sheriff of San Francisco.
At the time, many people within San Francisco’s Black community perceived the mayor’s decision as a snub. They felt the appointment should have gone to Breed.
As a result Breed decided to run for the seat and raised over $250,000 for her campaign. However, Olague was seen as the frontrunner, with the backing of Mayor Lee and former Mayor Willie Brown.
But some controversial votes on the board doomed her, and Julian Davis, an attorney and the president of the Booker T. Washington Community Center, became the favorite of the progressive left, which has controlled this seat.
But a six-year-old revelation about Davis and an unwanted sexual advance to Kay Vasilyeva – a former colleague of Davis in the 2006 campaign to re-elect Supervisor Chris Daly – sent Davis’s campaign into a political spiral.
Eventually, SF Bay Guardian and the SF Examiner withdrew their endorsements of Davis, as did Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos.
Breed was ahead with 4,232 votes of the initial 13,712 votes counted, which were mostly absentee and mail-in ballots. Olague was in second place, and John Rizzo was in third.
As each round was tabulated, Breed’s lead increased.
The final tally was 11,019 votes for Breed to Olague’s 8,591. Breed won 56 percent of the vote.
As news of her lead grew, Breed’s supporters from the Western Addition joined her at Nikkis Barbeque club and lounge to celebrate her win.
“London has shown a lot of promise over the years and she will be a very good supervisor,” said Dr. Arnold Townsend, a community activist and Breed supporter.
Breed said that she wants to mend fences with all of the candidates in the race and bring people together.
“I want to be supervisor to everyone in District 5,” she said.
“My first focus will be on trying to bring jobs, educational resources and healing to the district,” she said. “I want to bring people together.”