Dufty wins in District 8
by Matthew S. Bajko
Supervisor Bevan Dufty easily won re-election Tuesday, November 7, securing himself four more years on the Board of Supervisors as well as setting himself up as a potential mayoral candidate in 2011.
Dufty garnered 64 percent or 11,800 votes, according to unofficial returns Wednesday morning. His main opponent in the race, Oakland deputy city attorney Alix Rosenthal, came up short in her bid to unseat Dufty, whom she had criticized as not being progressive enough to represent District 8. Rosenthal got only 31 percent or 5,747 votes, while perennial candidate Starchild, a Libertarian and escort and exotic dancer, received 892 votes.
Cradling his sleeping 5-and-half-week-old baby daughter, Sidney Maely Goldfader-Dufty, at an election night party held at Lime restaurant in the Castro, Dufty said the race never was about his opponents but about his record of accomplishments over the last four years.
"It feels great," he said of his win. "I've said all along this year was about me connecting and talking to the people I represent. It has never been about the other people in the race."
His win Tuesday caps what Dufty called "one of the most incredible years of my life," citing having one of the "best jobs in the world" and the birth of his daughter. But 2006 also brought numerous personal attacks not only on Dufty but his family.
A group of disgruntled activists launched the Dump Dufty Web site in the spring in order to convince someone to take on the popular supervisor, who up until June faced no opponent in the race. After Rosenthal declared her intent to run this summer, she and her critics hammered away at Dufty and derisively labeled him the "pothole supervisor." [For more on Rosenthal's plans, see the B.A.R. blog.]
Dufty came under fierce criticism for suggesting that the annual Halloween party in the Castro be canceled due to fears of violence and saw his family become front-page news when ABC7 news anchor Pete Wilson called Sidney a "travesty" and predicted she would grow up to be a "serial killer" on his KGO radio program just a few days after she was born. After nine people were shot and one person trampled at the Halloween event, the incident became national news, and Dufty once again found himself center stage in a news story that made headlines several days in a row.
"I was somewhat surprised at how the last month brought such unprecedented media attention to me," Dufty said. "I felt good at being able to handle the charges, whether Pete Wilson's comments or the potential tragedy of shootings in the Castro on Halloween. I also feel lucky all 10 individuals are healthy and at home."
As for the future, Dufty said he is not interested in becoming board president next year but did not rule out a mayoral run when asked if he would seek the office. He said he promised Board President Aaron Peskin he would back his being president next year and is certain Mayor Gavin Newsom will seek re-election, despite Newsom's protestations that he is unsure if he wants to seek a second term.
Asked if he would seek the board president's role in 2009 then, Dufty said, "We will see." As for running for mayor when Gavin is termed out in 2011, he said, "My intention is to do a good job as district supervisor over the next four years."
Yet Dufty also boasts that he received donations for his race not only from District 8 residents but from 800 people across the city and that the reason is "my ideas and activism resonate with people."
In other supervisor races the incumbents all easily won re-election with large margins, except for District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, who as of Wednesday morning was leading his opponent Rob Black by more than 1,100 votes. Daly fell just shy of the more than 50 percent he needed to win outright with 5,471 votes or 49.66 percent. Black had 4,312 votes or 39.14 percent and was not expected to pull ahead under the city's instant runoff voting system.
In the race for the open District 4 supervisor seat, vacated by Supervisor Fiona Ma, who won a state Assembly seat, Ron Dudum held a 300-vote lead against Ed Jew. Dudum had 27 percent or 3,357 votes while Jew came in second with 24 percent or 3,030 votes. Jaynry Mak, a former Ma legislative aide hoping to replace her boss, came in third with 22 percent or 2,810 votes.
Both Daly and Dudum will have to wait until at least Friday to know for certain if they will be victorious.
District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier easily won a second term on the board with 82.8 percent of the vote compared to the 17 percent garnered by her opponent, Vilma Guinto Peoro, according to unoff
In citywide races incumbents Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and Public Defender Jeff Adachi both ran unopposed and picked up 98 percent of the vote in unofficial returns. In the race for three seats on the Board of Education, the top vote getters as of Wednesday were Jane Kim, Hydra Mendoza, and Kim-Shree Maufas with incumbent Dan Kelly, a moderate on the board, losing his re-election bid.
In the three seats at stake in the community college board race, incumbent and out gay candidate Lawrence Wong came in second to secure his bid for re-election, despite having to defend his attending last March the Bay Area Reporter's anniversary party held at the Fairmont, one of a dozen hotels being boycotted at the time by union workers who were in a contract dispute. Wong received 56,640 votes, about 21 percent, with top place finisher Anita Grier earning 68,855 votes or 25 percent. Newcomer John Rizzo came in third with 47,422 votes or less than 18 percent of the vote.
For BART board, bisexual candidate and Green Party member Emily Drennen came up short in her bid to oust Republican James Fang from the District 8 seat he has held for 16 years. Fang, who received endorsements from several gay and lesbian politicians, came in first with 30,400 votes or 57.6 percent, more than 15 percentage points ahead of Drennen, who received 22,011 votes or 41.7 percent.
As for the local propositions on Tuesday's ballot, San Francisco residents approved a city policy calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Proposition J passed with 59 percent of the vote.
Mayor Gavin Newsom also came up short in Tuesday's elections. While he held on to his allies on the board Dufty and Alioto-Pier, his candidates in District 4 and 6 fell short and voters passed a measure put on the ballot by his rival Daly that requires the mayor to appear in person at one regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors each month to engage in formal policy discussions. Proposition I won with 57 percent of the vote.
Daly's other measure he put on the ballot, a 10 percent parking tax increase, didn't fly with voters. Proposition E went down to defeat with 66 percent of voters against it.
Public officials can now join in meetings by teleconference â€“ Proposition B passed with 72 percent â€“ and the salaries of the mayor, city attorney, district attorney, public defender, assessor-recorder, treasurer, and sheriff will now be based on the average salary paid to comparable officials in other Bay Area counties. Proposition C passed with 63.7 percent.
The city and its contractors will not be prohibited from disclosing private information about individuals except under limited circumstances with the passage of Proposition D. It took 63.7 percent of the vote. Proposition H, which increases the amount landlords must pay to tenants evicted through no fault of their own, also came out ahead Tuesday with 54 percent of the vote.
Two business-related measures passed. Voters approved Proposition F, which requires employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees working in San Francisco, by 61 percent and approved Proposition G, which requires chain stores to receive a conditional use permit before they can open an outlet in the city, with 58 percent of the vote.
Schools won big, with voters approving up to $450,000 in bonds to modernize and repair up to 64 school facilities. Proposition A passed with 74 percent. Seniors in need of affordable housing also got a boost with the passage of Proposition K with 71 percent of the vote. Voters instructed the city to adopt policy and explore ways of addressing the housing needs of seniors and disabled adults with limited financial resources.