San Francisco elects first African-American woman as mayor
San Francisco Supervisor London Breed emerged victorious yesterday to become the city’s first African-American woman mayor after narrowly defeating a rival who was seeking to become the first openly gay man in the position.
It took eight days of counting after Election Day for Breed to build a large enough lead to claim the city’s top job. With about 250,000 ballots tallied, she led former state Sen. Mark Leno by 2,177 votes with only about 6,700 left to count.
Leno called Breed to congratulate her on the victory and later she appeared briefly before reporters and cheering supporters on the steps of City Hall. She said she was humbled, honored and looking forward to serving as mayor.
In particular, Breed relished the message her election sends to San Francisco’s youth, especially kids like herself who grew up poor.
“No matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do,” she said. “Never let your circumstances determine your outcome in life.”
London Breed, who will take office next month, is the second woman to be elected mayor in San Francisco history. The other was U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
43-year-old London Breed vowed to be mayor for all of San Francisco. She repeated this message repeated throughout her bid to lead a city that is economically thriving but mired in homelessness, congestion and unaffordable homes. She has vowed to rid the sidewalks of homeless tent camps within a year of taking office.
London Breed will fill the rest of Lee’s term, which ends in early 2020, and will need to run in November 2019 for a full four-year term.
San Francisco has an unusual ranked choice voting system that allows voters to pick their top three candidates for mayor. During the complicated counting process second-place and sometimes third-place choices end up being tallied.
In an effort to block Breed from winning, Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim asked their supporters to pick the other as their No.2, saying that Breed represented the status quo that had made San Francisco so inequitable. All three are Democrats.
But Breed still prevailed, riding her support among the business and political establishment who helped her lead the field in campaign donations. The portrayals of her as a lackey of big business bugged Breed, who first won a supervisor’s seat in 2012.
The former executive director of the African American Art & Culture Complex grew up in the historically black Western Addition area, raised by her grandmother in public housing. They drank powdered milk and ate meat from a can labeled “pork,” she said.
Culled from www.dailymail.co.uk