2019 San Francisco District Attorney election

The 2019 San Francisco District Attorney election was held on November 5, 2019, to elect the next district attorney of San Francisco. The election, which was held alongside the 2019 mayoral election in which incumbent mayor London Breed won her first full term, was won by public defender Chesa Boudin.

2019 San Francisco District Attorney election

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  Chesa Boudin, San Francisco Elections candidate video (October 2019) (cropped).png No image.svg No image.svg
Candidate Chesa Boudin Suzy Loftus Nancy Tung
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
First round vote 68,785 59,990 37,337
First round percentage 35.62% 31.06% 19.33%
Final round vote 86,682 83,850 Eliminated
Final round percentage 50.83% 49.17% Eliminated

  No image.svg
Candidate Leif Dautch
Party Nonpartisan
First round vote 27,021
First round percentage 13.99%
Final round vote Eliminated
Final round percentage Eliminated

2019SFDA.svg
First choice results by county supervisorial district

Boudin:      <30%      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%
Loftus:      30–40%      40–50%

Tung:      30–40%

District Attorney before election

Suzy Loftus
Democratic

Elected District Attorney

Chesa Boudin
Democratic

The incumbent district attorney, George Gascón, announced in October 2018 that he would not seek a third term.[1] Gascón then abruptly resigned in October 2019, and Breed appointed Suzy Loftus to replace him on an interim basis.[2][3]

Four candidates, Chesa Boudin, Suzy Loftus, Nancy Tung, and Leif Dautch, ran in the nonpartisan election,[4][5] with Boudin and Loftus seen as the front-runners.[6] San Francisco elections are conducted using ranked-choice voting: voters are permitted to rank the candidates in order of preference, and should no candidate garner a majority of first-choice votes, the support of the candidates with the fewest votes are successively re-allocated until one candidate attains a majority.[7]

The winner of the election was unclear for several days;[8] Loftus conceded the race to Boudin on November 9.[9] The final results showed Boudin defeating Loftus by 4.6 percentage points in first-choice votes, and by 1.7 percentage points in the final round.[10]

BackgroundEdit

In January 2011, district attorney Kamala Harris resigned to become attorney general of California, having been elected in 2010.[11] George Gascón, at the time the chief of police of San Francisco, was appointed as her successor by outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom, who had been elected in 2010 to become lieutenant governor of California.[11] Gascón was subsequently elected to two full terms as district attorney, in 2011 and in 2015.[11]

On October 2, 2018, after Suzy Loftus announced her candidacy for the office, Gascón announced that he would not seek re-election. On October 19, 2019, in the midst of the campaign, Gascón abruptly resigned as district attorney;[1] he said he was considering running for district attorney of Los Angeles in 2020.[1][3] Mayor London Breed then appointed Loftus to replace Gascón.[2][3] The appointment was criticized by Loftus's election opponents, who charged that Breed was conferring the advantage of incumbency on her preferred candidate less than three weeks before the election;[2][3] until the appointment of Loftus, the election had been slated to be the first open race for district attorney in over a century.[2][3] However, some contend that the appointment hurt Loftus's chances in the election, as voters felt that the decision had seemingly been taken away from them.[12]

CandidatesEdit

EndorsementsEdit

Chesa Boudin
Federal politicians
District attorneys
Individuals
Suzy Loftus
Nancy Tung
State politicians
District attorneys
Leif Dautch
State politicians

PollingEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
RCV
choice
Sample
size
Margin
of error
Chesa
Boudin
Leif
Dautch
Suzy
Loftus
Nancy
Tung
Undecided Refs
Tulchin Research (Boudin) October 13–16, 2019 First 400 ± 4.9% 21% 10% 18% 11% 40% [6][14]

ResultsEdit

 
First choice results by congressional district:
  Boudin—30–40%
  Loftus—30–40%

The results of the election are shown in the following tables:[10]

San Francisco district attorney election, 2019[10]
Party Candidate Maximum
Round
Maximum
Votes
Share in
Maximum
Round
Maximum Votes
First Round VotesTransfer Votes
Nonpartisan Chesa Boudin 3 86,682 50.83%
Nonpartisan Suzy Loftus 3 83,850 49.17%
Nonpartisan Nancy Tung 2 46,608 24.97%
Nonpartisan Leif Dautch 1 27,021 13.99%
Round-by-round results[10]
Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Chesa Boudin 68,785 73,530 86,682
Suzy Loftus 59,990 66,489 83,850
Nancy Tung 37,337 46,608
Leif Dautch 27,021
Continuing votes 193,133 186,627 170,532
Exhausted ballots 0 6,437 22,409
Over votes 525 594 717
Under votes 12,387 12,387 12,387
Total 206,045 206,045 206,045

AftermathEdit

Loftus conceded to Boudin on November 9.[15][16] Since Boudin was seen as by far the most progressive candidate in the race, the result was interpreted as a continuation of a national trend of bold criminal justice reformists elected in large cities, including Larry Krasner in Philadelphia; Rachael Rollins in Boston; and Kim Foxx in Chicago.[12][13]

Boudin took office on January 8, 2020.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Sernoffsky, Evan (October 2, 2018). "SF district attorney George Gascón decides not to seek re-election". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Sernoffsky, Evan; Rubenstein, Steve (October 19, 2019). "Loftus sworn in as interim DA, 17 days before election". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "S.F. mayor Breed swears in Suzy Loftus interim district attorney". CBS Local. October 19, 2019. Archived from the original on October 22, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "2019 election: Who's running for San Francisco district attorney". KGO-TV. November 4, 2019. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Sernoffsky, Evan (October 31, 2019). "SF district attorney candidates emphasize contrasting priorities in final days before election". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Sernoffsky, Evan (October 21, 2019). "Poll: Chesa Boudin, Suzy Loftus lead district attorney race in SF". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Ranked-choice voting". SFgov.org. Archived from the original on May 26, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "San Francisco district attorney race too close to call". KGO-TV. November 6, 2019. Archived from the original on November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  9. ^ Nguyen, Daisy (November 10, 2019). "Chesa Boudin, whose parents were imprisoned, wins San Francisco D.A.'s race". NBC News. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d "2019 San Francisco District Attorney election: RCV detailed report 11" (PDF). SFelections.org. November 13, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 14, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Arango, Tim (October 28, 2019). "George Gascón enters race for district attorney in Los Angeles". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Knight, Heather (November 11, 2019). "How Chesa Boudin, a public defender who never prosecuted a case, won SF D.A. race". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hawkins, Derek (November 10, 2019). "Progressive lawyer wins San Francisco district attorney race, continuing national reform trend". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  14. ^ Tulchin, Ben; O'Neil, Corey (October 18, 2019). "New poll finds Chesa Boudin in the lead for San Francisco district attorney" (PDF). Tulchin Research. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  15. ^ Yu, Betty (November 9, 2019). "Boudin savors victory after winning SF district attorney race by razor-thin lead". CBS Local. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Waxmann, Laura; Sabatini, Joshua (November 9, 2019). "Chesa Boudin wins DA contest over Suzy Loftus". The San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "Interim San Francisco DA Suzy Loftus to stay in office through early January". CBS Local. November 13, 2019. Archived from the original on November 14, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.

External linksEdit