2018 Key Local Primary Election Results for the Bay Area, San Jose and San Diego
June 25, 2018
By Reese Isbell
CLSA’s local government relations team would like to share a brief update on some local electoral results of note for the Bay Area, San Jose and San Diego.
BAY AREA REGIONAL MEASURE 3
Nine Counties in the Bay Area voted together to pass Regional Measure 3 (RM3) by 54%, which asked voters whether to raise the tolls on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridge tolls by up to $3 to finance a $4.5 billion package of transportation projects. RM3 pertains to the following Counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Transportation funding priorities have been delineated by County and, among them, include allocations to update and extend the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) throughout the South Bay, alleviate freeway bottlenecks in the East Bay and along the Peninsula, increase ferry service and add additional ferry terminals, explore possibilities for a second BART tube under the bay, and improve local rail options via Caltrain and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) in the North Bay.
- SPECIAL MAYORAL ELECTION
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed declared victory in June’s special election on June 13 to fill the remainder of Mayor Ed Lee’s term following his passing late last year. The election will not be certified until early July at which time she is expected to be sworn-in. CLSA issued a statement congratulating Breed on her election.
Mayor-elect Breed now enters a regularly-scheduled November 2019 mayoral race as the incumbent seeking a full term. If re-elected in 2019 and again in 2023, she could be in the mayor’s office for the next decade.
While Breed came in first by a 12-point margin, the City’s unique ranked choice system encourages voters to make second and third choices. This led to a full week of counting secondary votes by the Department of Elections. Her two main opponents, former state Senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim, campaigned together on a platform that labeled Breed as friendlier to business, tech, and industry concerns.
- Special Supervisorial Election
A special supervisorial election also occurred in June given the 2016 move to the State Senate by Scott Wiener. Challenger Rafael Mandelman defeated Mayor Lee’s appointed interim Supervisor Jeff Sheehy following a strong campaign. The June election served to fill out the remaining months of Wiener’s original four-year term that expires at the end of this year. Mandelman now runs as the incumbent with only token opposition in November for the full four-year term. District 8 represents the Castro, Noe Valley, and Glen Park neighborhoods.
- Supervisors Reorganization
With Mayor-elect Breed stepping down from the Board of Supervisors in July, she will have the ability to name her successor for the District 5 seat (representing Fillmore, Western Addition, Japantown, Hayes Valley, Haight/Ashbury, and Inner Sunset neighborhoods). Possible appointees include Board of Education Trustee Stevon Cook and City College Board Trustee Shanell Williams.
As Breed is also currently the President of the Board, there will be a new vote for the leadership position. Mayor-elect Breed has announced that she will step down from the role of President in late June before being sworn in as Mayor in July. This timing allows for her to vote for her successor as President of the Board, and keeps Supervisor-elect Mandelman out of the running and without a vote in the process. Supervisors Hilary Ronen, Malia Cohen, and Ahsha Safai have all stated interest in becoming President.
- Housing Propositions
A ballot measure to fund housing and homelessness programs, Proposition D, could not muster the needed 2/3rds for passage in June. However, it is anticipated that new measures for housing and homelessness programs will be on the November ballot.
Two measures are currently gathering signatures for such placement. One is entitled the “San Francisco Community Housing Act” and creates a new parcel tax to fund programs for affordable rental housing. Another is a tax on business’ gross receipts to fund homelessness programs. The deadline for submitting signatures for these two measures is July 9.
With the many changes at the Board of Supervisors and new mayoral administration beginning, further ballot measures could be developed in the coming weeks. The Board of Supervisors and Mayor can place their own measures directly on the ballot. The deadline for such action is August 3.
Mayor Sam Liccardo cruised to a win for a second term with 75% of the vote. He had no strong opposition and has been a popular mayor for the Bay Area’s largest City. He has been working closely with industry and the life sciences community over the last four years in expanding economic development opportunities. As such, Mayor Liccardo recently launched Manufacture: San Jose (M:SJ) as a new public/private partnership intended to help businesses connect better with the city directly, provide training programs for local workers, and offer recruitment support to local manufacturing jobs.
- CITY COUNCIL
Two incumbent councilmembers, Charles “Chappie” Jones and Raul Peralez, ran unopposed. Two more incumbent councilmembers, Magdelena Carrasco and Tam Nguyen, led their challengers handily in the June results, but will proceed to November runoffs. The only open seat, District 9, will provide a close contest in November between businesswoman Pam Foley and Campbell Union High School District President Kalen Gallagher who were separated by only 226 votes for first and second place. Gallagher could be on pace for an upset win in November should he be able to attract the support of labor backed Shay Franco-Clausen, a former staffer for Assemblyman Ash Kalra.
- HOUSING MEASURES
Mayor Liccardo was able to focus his energy and time on the competing housing measures in the June election. Private developers had placed Measure B on the City ballot to build on parcels in the Evergreen area. However, the City had previously earmarked that area for industrial development and grew concerned with Measure B’s undoing of the community process and public input provided by the city led process. Mayor Liccardo and City leaders put forward a competing Measure C which was supported by large community support and Measure C ended up winning passage with 59%-41%. Measure B was defeated along similar lines of 43%-56%.
- SANTA CLARA COUNTY
In the race to replace term-limited Supervisor Ken Yeager in District 4, School District Trustee Susan Ellenberg finished first. She will face a run-off in November with current second-place holder, San Jose City Councilman Dan Rocha, who currently has 660 votes over the third-place finisher, former Councilman Pierluigi Olivero who had the support of the business community.
- COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Two new officials will join the San Diego County Board of Supervisors following the November election. Former Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher leads in District 4, having run this race as a Democrat, but is closely followed by former Republican District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. The two of them will compete in a November runoff. In District 5, Republican San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond leads with 45% against Democrat Michelle Gomez at 23% and the two will compete in their own November runoff campaign.
- CITY COUNCIL
Given San Diego’s new election rules regarding runoffs for City Council elections, two current City Council incumbents will face off with their second place June challengers in a November runoff. Current City Council President Myrtle Cole and Member Lorie Zapf did not reach the needed 50% threshold and will face civil rights advocate Monica Montgomery and medical doctor Jennifer Campbell respectively. Staffer for current Member Danny Alvarez, Vivien Moreno, will face San Ysidro School Board Member Antonio Martinez to win Alvarez’s seat. Meanwhile, Councilman Chris Cate won his June election outright by 56% and will not need a run-off.
For questions on these races, and any of the many other local races around the state, please feel free to contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government & Community Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).