Photo by Peter Hartlaub via twitter.

The outcome of the so-called “battle for San Francisco’s soul” is going to have to wait a few more days as Supervisor David Campos declined Tuesday night to concede victory in his Assembly race against Supervisor and Board President David Chiu.

With all precincts reporting, Chiu held a 2,397-vote lead over Campos in the Assembly race to replace Tom Ammiano. There is still an unknown number of provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted. The acrimonious race, billed by some as a turning point for progressive politics in the city, was defined by sharp personal attacks and money.

Despite the outcome, Campos and his supporters are claiming a victory.

“What happened tonight was not a campaign, it was a movement to make sure San Francisco is a city that’s affordable,” Campos told more than 200 supporters at his election party at El Rio. “It’s about saying San Francisco is not for sale.”

In what sounded like a concession speech, however, many of his supporters said that despite being outspent the campaign’s strong showing sent a message to the powers-that-be.

“Even if [Chiu] wins he’s going to have it in his head that the people fought back,” said Lulu Rodriguez, a supporter of Campos who can’t actually vote for him because she’s not a citizen. “He’s going to have that in mind next time.”

The night went as scripted for the Campos campaign – literally, the script that phone bankers at Roccapulco had to read said: “This is the closest election in recent history.”

Absentee ballots counted first were expected to – and did by and large – go to Chiu, but the Campos campaign came roaring back once the precinct ballots began being reported.

Earlier, Nate Allbee told a group of 70 people who were phone banking at Roccapulco to encourage likely voters to turn in a vote for Campos.

Chiu took an early 60-40 lead with early absentee voters, but Allbee remained relaxed. “We had over 500 people working knocking on doors,” he said.

It also didn’t bother the partygoers at the who’s who of progressive politics, which included immigrants, non-profit workers, bloggers, bearded hipsters and everything in between, as they continued drinking.

“Great party,” said one. “Wooo, same results as an hour ago,” said another.

Hours later they were rewarded as Campos closed a 6,000-vote gap, giving Chiu 51.37 percent of the vote and leaving Campos with 48.63 percent of the vote. However, it might not be enough, as the Department of Election still has to count the remaining absentee ballots.

Campos took the stage shortly after 11 p.m. and had some parting shots at the tech moguls Reid Hoffman and Ron Conway, who funded a $550,000 independent campaign against him. They attacked him on his vote not to oust disgraced Sherriff Ross Mirkarimi for being convicted domestic violence charges.

Campos tried to give hope to his supporters, who recently lost The Bay Guardian and Ted Gullicksen of the San Francisco Tenants union.

“Progressive politics are alive in San Francisco,” he said. “We are not going anywhere.”
First published at 7:05 a.m.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. Campos needs to admit his mistakes. He needs to leave SF and leave politics and get a real job, one that is not a leech on hard working tax payers of SF (or any US city).
    This person played up his handouts of tax payer money (giving away Muni, giving away welfare, giving HIV drugs, etc) thinking that the govt pig trough is never ending. And to TAX and spend his way to become king, feed his big ego. Doesn’t work, eventually — real, educated people figure out the Campos (Avalos) lies and stop believing the double talk.

    If Campos had grace, he would resign and leave the city.

  2. David Campos labels himself Gay and Latino when it’s convenient for him. He has never done anything for the Gay or Latino community! As Arlene Ackerman’s right hand man, during her tenure as superintendent of schools, he screwed over so many Latino and African American families by placing unusually large numbers of Asian students in what were considered “better” schools. In the same respect, many Latinos were looked over in place of Asians as employees in the district. David Chiu is a much more ethical and honorable man. I congratulate him on his win.

  3. Campos is a moron and now a spent clown.

    First his ellis eviction ransoms…errr…fair payments were summarily dismissed as unconstitutional in state court.

    Second his prop G raping was dismissed by the popular vote.

    And now he lost the assembly race.


    Because he’s a shitty one issue sensationalist that divides people rather than brings them together.

    Adios assholitos!

  4. I suspect those giving the shaft to Campos and his genuine commitment to lifelong San Franciscan’s and Mission/ Noe Valley residents (for however long) are those same self-proclaimed hipsters (read carpetbaggers) who are forcing us out of the neighborhoods they have decided are “hip” or chic. Treating the Mission with a “slumming” mentality only betrays their profoundly self-centered attitude.

    1. That’s rich calling other people carpetbaggers when Campos was born in Guatamala and raised in Los Angeles and went to Harvard for law school. So he’s a native SFer with those credentials? Maybe your logical reasoning (or lack thereof) is why you can’t afford to live in the neighborhood.

  5. Why, Elizabeth? Because a willingness to accept reality and the ability to lose gracefully aren’t important character issues for a politician who asks for our support?

    Still, nice to see you taking sides with DV perpetrators and those who love them.

    1. The insane levels of aggression throughout these comments is…well, sad, frankly.

      Alex, my dearest one, the fact that you use the phrase “taking sides”, speaks eloquently (and only) to who you are. Maybe you’re a nice guy in real life, but here, flouncing around on the comment thread, dispersing snarky put downs, makes you look like a bratty 6 year old acting up on the playground. I’ll do as my wise granny advised: I’ll consider the source. You- and just about everyone else screaming their lil’ heads off- don’t have the emotional scaffolding to deal with anything that doesn’t immediately confirm your notions of how the world is.

      When you’ve lived in the Mission for decades, and stayed politically active, you tend to develop even handedness towards people you don’t vote for. I’ve met Chiu; I like him. He’s showed up to every counter-demonstration he’s been invited to attend against the noxiously anti-choice “Walk for Life”. I’m not happy about his association with corporate lobbyists, but I’m not under the impression that Ragnarok is about to occur, either.

      So…to sum up: Chiu. Fine. We’ll work with him when we can, and when we don’t like something he’s doing, we’ll address that.

      It’s a much bigger deal for you, is the thing.

      1. Jesus Creely. You’re a trustfunder who lives in the Mission who’s never worked at a job a day in her life. What do you mean “WE will work with him”?! He doesn’t NEED you. BTW, I’m not sure your current level of trustfunderness can survive in the Mission much longer. Your DADDY will have to send you more dough.

  6. David Campos: So happy you haven’t conceded. Thank you for your work to protect women’s health, to celebrate and maintain the diversity and richness of our neighborhood culture and for being the thoughtful, conscientious, principled legislator you have always been.

  7. What has Campos ever done to make San Francisco affordable? For someone whose big achievement to date is making Muni free to low-income youth, this seems like a pretty outsize claim.

  8. Yes, the downside of his failure is that he remains a supervisor for 2 more years. A moderate appointed by Lee would have been great.

  9. If campos loses he has two more years on the board of supervisors, so things will stay interesting

  10. Time to get a real job, Campos. Maybe you’ll realize having employers around isn’t such a bad thing after all.

  11. I was very on the fence until the last week between Campos and Chiu. In the end it was some of the attacks from the Campos campaign and a conversation with some of his door knockers that made me decide Chiu. His campaign was about tech donors for Chiu’s campaign rather than talking about specific plans to execute his worth causes. BTW, Ron Conway is a very socially minded person, even thought he’s a rich angel investor. He has done a lot to help progressive causes in SF, and even worked on projects to reduce gun violence. In the end, I’m glad Chiu was challenged and will hopefully realize that yes, San Francisco is a progressive city. This will hopefully inform him during his term.

        1. Is that pipsqueak the same hypocrite who thought he could brown nose the gay community by naming SFO after Harvey Milk¨?