Political Notes: Hansen holding out hope in tight Sacramento mayoral primary

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Friday March 15, 2024
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Steve Hansen is holding out hope he survives Sacramento mayoral primary. Photo: Courtesy the candidate<br><br>
Steve Hansen is holding out hope he survives Sacramento mayoral primary. Photo: Courtesy the candidate

It has been a nerve-wracking two weeks for gay Sacramento mayoral candidate Steve Hansen. The former city councilmember landed in second place in the March 5 primary on election night.

But as more ballots were counted, Hansen dropped down to fourth in a race where only the top-two finishers will advance to a runoff in November. Voters in California's capital city are choosing who will succeed Mayor Darrell Steinberg, as he decided not to seek a third term this year.

After the latest update late Friday afternoon, Hansen remains in fourth with 19,738 votes. With 21% of the total ballots so far tabulated, he still finds himself in a three-way statistical dead heat but 531 votes shy of second place.

Moving into that position Friday with 20,269 votes was Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who had been in third. Dr. Richard Pan, a former state senator who had taken an early lead in the race two weeks ago, is now in third with 20,107 votes.

Former fourth-place finisher, epidemiologist Dr. Flojaune Cofer, continues to grow her standing in first place. Her vote total is now at 26,287 for 28% of all ballots counted.

She expressed her confidence of winning the race in a March 14 post on X.

"Thank you to the thousands of voters who chose me to represent you and your families as Sacramento's next mayor," wrote Cofer, who would be her city's first Black female mayor. "Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of individual donors who fueled our people-powered campaign."

The next update will come by 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. With fewer than 27,000 ballots in the county left to count, Hansen is not yet conceding the race.

"With more results out this afternoon and around 7,000 votes left to be counted, I am thankful for the people working hard to honor the voice of our City," Hansen wrote in a post on X. "Appreciate everyone's continued patience and let's enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend Sacramento!"

Should Hansen, who with his partner, Michael McNulty, has two sons, survive the primary and pull off a victory in the fall, he would be the first LGBTQ mayor of the Golden State's sixth largest city. And it would mark a political comeback for him, after losing his bid for a third term in his council seat in the 2020 primary.

Gay San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is currently the only out leader of one of the state's 10 largest cities. (San Diego ranks second.)

In his bid for a second four-year term, Gloria is leading his primary race with 50.05% of the vote. The Democratic former state legislator is expected to easily defeat in November second-place finisher Larry Turney. The police officer received 23.11% of the vote based on the unofficial returns.

One issue that Gloria has prioritized in his reelection campaign is addressing his city's unhoused population. He has ballyhooed San Diego receiving a $29.9 million grant, a record in state funding, to support interim housing options, youth homelessness efforts, and shelter diversion programs in his city.

"These initiatives are crucial for our mission of transitioning people from the streets into shelters and permanent housing," stated Gloria. "I have made advocating for these funds a top priority, and I am grateful to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature for recognizing the value of San Diego's homelessness programs."

Keep abreast of the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Threads @ This text will be the linkhttps://www.threads.net/@matthewbajko>.

Got a tip on LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail [email protected].

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