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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Could San Francisco Have Two Mayoral Elections in 2011?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Are two elections really better than one?
  • Are two elections really better than one?
Are two elections really better than one?
With political junkies gearing up for next year's mayoral election, city movers and shakers have been talking about a scenario that'd give the aforementioned fiends an overdose.

Imagine if you will, that Gavin Newsom wins the Lieutenant Governor's seat. The Board of Supervisors selects his replacement. Then, under a city law mandating an appointed mayor stand election within 120 days, voters go to the polls shortly thereafter. And then we go again for the regularly scheduled November mayoral election. 

Could San Francisco actually have two mayoral elections next year? Here's what Department of Elections chief John Arntz had to say:

No. No we cannot. Here's why.

Under section 13.101.5 of the City Charter, an appointed mayor is indeed required to stand for election -- or not run, and give way to the winner of that election --  within 120 days. Unless -- you knew there'd be an "unless" -- the following occurs:

Any person filling a vacancy ... shall serve until a successor is selected at the next election occurring not less than 120 days after the vacancy, at which time an election shall be held to fill the unexpired term, provided that (1) if an election for the vacated office is scheduled to occur less than one year after the vacancy, the appointee shall serve until a successor is selected at that election or (2) if an election for any seat on the same board as the vacated seat is scheduled to occur less than one year but at least 120 days after the vacancy, the appointee shall serve until a successor is selected at that election to fill the unexpired term.

Sorry, political junkies. Since the November, 2011 election would take place less than a year after Newsom's potential successor was selected by the board in January, we won't have two elections next year.

Thank God.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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