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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Will It Take for Ross Mirkarimi to Lose the Sheriff's Race?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Not an easy slide into first place
  • Not an easy slide into first place

Barring a miracle, Ed Lee is on his way to becoming the next mayor --it's now the hotly contested sheriff's race that is the one to watch.

As of this morning, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi had a narrow, 10 percent lead over Chris Cunnie, securing 38 percent of the vote. While political pundits thought this was his race to lose, now it appears this might actually turn into the race he loses.

"There is a good chance that he does lose," said Jim Ross, a local political consultant. "I think he is very much in a situation that we saw in last year's election with Janet Reilly, where there are three candidates all of whom are opposed to him -- they are the anti-Ross Mirkarimis."

The three candidates combined received 62 percent of the vote, which means only 35 percent of the second-choice votes need to go to one of the other candidates and Mirkarimi will lose, Ross said.

In the next hour or so, we will learn how those votes shift and which way this race is going; should Mirkarimi bump up and garner 11 percent of the vote or more, he could still win, said David Latterman, a political consultant who ran Supervisor David Chiu's race for mayor.

"Every half-point will matter; this one could be really close," Latterman said.

What's interesting is that voters seem to have wanted a moderate sheriff -- which Mirkarimi is not. The fact that 62 percent of the vote was split among three moderate candidates shows how rank-choice voting can seriously split the vote, Latterman said.

"The city picked a moderate mayor and a moderate district attorney -- it's clear they also wanted a moderate sheriff," he said.

Check back for election updates.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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