David Campos made a phone call to David Chiu Thursday evening to concede the relatively close race for Assembly District 17. As Chiu wrote on Facebook, "We had a positive conversation and agreed to work together in the future for the good of San Francisco."
Though there are still provisional and mail-in ballots left to be counted, the Campos camp seems to have decided that the trends were not in their favor. As of Thursday at 4 p.m., 99,985 total ballots had been counted, with 51,878 (51.89%) for Chiu, and 48,107 (48.11%) for Campos, continuing the trend of the previous days' counts, with Chiu's lead growing slightly over Wednesday's count to 3,771 votes.
Glossing over the fact that both sides ended up running negative (and very expensive) campaigns in what turned out to be a very tight race with Chiu's being arguably more inflammatory in its mailers attacking Campos's record Chiu says the race was "challenging" and he "applaud[s] Supervisor Campos and all of his supporters on the passion and hard work that they put into the campaign." He adds the election platitudes, "I am proud to share this victory with you," and "I believe that as San Franciscans there is more that unites than divides us."
Campos, in his own statement, waxed nostalgic about one of his heroes, and reaffirmed that his camp remains the populist one protecting all those San Franciscans in danger of being "pushed out."
As I write this my thoughts are with Supervisor Harvey Milk. Forty-two years ago Harvey made a similar call when he lost his own race for the 17th Assembly district by fewer then 4,000 votes. It was one of many races that Harvey lost, in fact he was only a supervisor for 11 months before his murder. And yet the message that is most associated with him is that of hope. Right now my heart is filled with hope.
This is a time of great change in our city. And through this campaign we have sent a powerful message that the people of San Francisco our alive, spirited, and ready to fight for our values and way of life. We made clear that we love this city, refuse to be pushed out and are a force to be reckoned with.
So, Campos will remain in his seat on the Board of Supervisors, and he will be termed out in 2017. And Mayor Ed Lee now gets to appoint someone to fill David Chiu's seat on the Board until that seat's next election can occur.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Board of Supervisors will begin their back-room battle for Chiu's Board President seat, which most of them probably want. It's a battle that has likely been ongoing since the election for Board President would have come up in January 2015 regardless of whether Chiu was departing or not.