Chesa Boudin defeated Suzy Loftus, Leif Dautch, and Nancy Tung in last Tuesday’s nonpartisan election for San Francisco District Attorney. Loftus conceded the race Saturday after mail-in ballots tallied over the course of the past week indicated Boudin would win.
Under San Francisco’s system of ranked-choice voting, voters select up to 10 candidates for each office on the ballot and rank their preferences. Votes are initially allocated to each voter’s first-place candidate. If no candidate wins a majority of the first-place vote, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and their voters’ voters are reassigned to their next preferred candidate.
As of 7:30 a.m. PST on November 11, Boudin had won 35.7% of the first-place vote to Loftus’ 31.1%. A projection released by the city department of elections indicated that Dautch would be eliminated in the first round, followed by Tung in the second round. The report projected a Boudin victory over Loftus in the third round by a margin of 1.66 percentage points—2,825 votes.
This was the first open-seat election for San Francisco District Attorney since 1909. The race attracted national attention, with presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris issuing endorsements. Sanders endorsed Boudin while Harris, who held the office herself before winning election as California attorney general, endorsed Loftus.