Breed elected city of San Francisco mayor
Trump central in Nevada
SAN FRANCISCO, June 14, (AP): San Francisco Supervisor London Breed emerged victorious Wednesday 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, she 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.”
Breed, who will take office next month, is the second woman to be elected mayor in San Francisco history. The other was US Sen Dianne Feinstein.
Breed, 43, vowed to be mayor for all of San Francisco, a message she 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.
Turnout exceeded 50 percent— unusually high for recent mayoral elections — in a contest that was placed on the June 5 ballot after the death of Mayor Ed Lee in December.
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.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump won’t be on the ballot in November, but he is shaping up to be at the center of two important campaigns in Nevada as Democrats hope to reclaim the governor’s mansion for the first time in 20 years and Republicans work to keep a US Senate seat.
With primary races settled in the battleground state Tuesday, Democrats are betting an anti-Trump backlash will carry them to victory in November and are portraying GOP nominees as boosters of Trump, not Nevada — a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
But Nevada Republicans contend that predictions of a “blue wave” are overblown and enthusiasm among their base is strong. They’ve cast GOP candidates as a guard against California-style liberalism and the potential impeachment of the president.
“They know that I’m the one person standing in the way of their Trump impeachment strategy, tax cut repeals and reinstatement of Obama-era regulations,” Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller said in a campaign email after his primary win Tuesday night.
His campaign has pointed to efforts of California billionaire Tom Steyer, who is running ads in Nevada and around the country pushing to impeach Trump. Steyer, who is scheduled to hold an impeachment town hall in Reno on Wednesday night, has separately pledged to spend $2 million in Nevada to defeat Heller and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the GOP candidate for governor.
Laxalt, who will face Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak, hasn’t linked his election to the president but acknowledged in his victory speech Tuesday night that Democrats will make that case.
“They’re going to say I’m a puppet for the president. They’re already saying that. But Donald Trump did not fail Clark County for decades,” he said.
His comments came hours after Trump tweeted his support for Laxalt.
Sisolak, the chairman of a powerful council overseeing the Las Vegas Strip, has repeatedly campaigned on a pledge to stand up to Trump.
The races, which have already started drawing in millions in outside spending, are high stakes battles for both parties.
A Democratic win in another Wisconsin special election has the party within striking distance of recapturing the state Senate and ending Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans’ stranglehold on state government, a priority for Democrats nationally as another round of redistricting nears.
Many in the party acknowledge overlooking local races for years, and they’re now fighting to claw back at least a share of power in as many states as possible to thwart another round of Republican map-drawing.
Organizing for Action, a political group that evolved from former President Barack Obama’s campaign operation, announced Tuesday one of its priorities was flipping control of the Wisconsin Senate. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, run by former US Attorney General Eric Holder, spent at least $35,000 supporting Caleb Frostman, the winning candidate in Tuesday’s special Senate election.
Frostman’s win marks the 43rd legislative seat nationwide that has flipped Democratic since President Donald Trump took office, according to the Democratic National Legislative Campaign Committee. The victory brings Democrats within just two seats of the Wisconsin Senate majority. The November election will determine control starting in 2019 and give that party an edge heading into the 2020 elections. Whoever is in control after those contests will handle redistricting in 2021.