Gay SF supervisor Mandelman sails to 2nd term

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Tuesday November 8, 2022
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Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, left, addresses supporters at his election night party in the Castro. Photo: Courtesy Twitter
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, left, addresses supporters at his election night party in the Castro. Photo: Courtesy Twitter

Among the five out supervisor candidates on the November 8 ballot in San Francisco, gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman sailed to a second term in Tuesday's election. He ran against little known candidate Kate Stoia, a straight married mother and nonprofit board leader, for the seat that includes the LGBTQ Castro district.

According to the unofficial returns Mandelman easily landed in first place with 77% of the vote. Stoia, a lawyer who lives in Noe Valley, garnered 23%.

"I feel really great; it's nice to win by a large margin," Mandelman told the Bay Area Reporter.

Stoia, whose deceased father came out as a gay man late in life, congratulated Mandelman in a tweet and thanked those voters who cast their ballots for her.

"It is such a profound experience to run for office; I'm grateful to everyone I met along the way. I will keep working to improve SF in ways big and small! Onward!" she wrote.

Meanwhile, in the hotly contested race for the District 6 supervisor seat centered in South of Market, transgender San Francisco Democratic Party Chair Honey Mahogany is trailing gay District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. He is the second person living with HIV to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors.

District 4 supervisor candidate Joel Engardio smiles as early returns show him with a lead over Supervisor Gordon Mar. Photo by Matthew S. Bajko  

And in the race for the District 4 seat in the city's Sunset District, Supervisor Gordon Mar was trailing a challenge from gay former journalist Joel Engardio. He is in second place with 48.52% of the vote, while Engardio is in first place with 51.48%.

"We are on the right side so far," Engardio said. "But it is still too close to call."

It was Engardio's fourth supervisor candidacy. He lost three past bids for the District 7 supervisor seat, which he was redistricted out of this year.

Mahogany, vying to become the first transgender person and first drag queen elected to public office in San Francisco, as well as the city's first out Black supervisor, stands at 41.11% of the vote. Dorsey, a recovering addict, has 58.89% of the vote.

Addressing her election night party attendees at 10:50 p.m., Mahogany said it was frustrating that "so few votes have been counted" at that point. She said there was "still a small chance we can pull it off" as more votes come in.

District 6 supervisor candidate Honey Mahogany gets a hug from supporter Abigail Mesa at her election night party. Photo by Rick Gerharter  

"We are not going to know the final outcomes until tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," predicted Mahogany.

Mayor London Breed tapped Dorsey to succeed former supervisor Matt Haney, whom Mahogany had worked for at City Hall, after he departed in the spring for the state Assembly. Should she be elected, Mahogany would also be the city's first queer and first nonbinary supervisor, and would also be the first-ever trans county supervisor in California.

The race will be decided by the city's ranked-choice voting system due to there being four candidates. Longtime Black transgender advocate Ms. Billie Cooper is in fourth place with 2.26% of the vote, while Black labor leader Cherelle Jackson stands at third place with 3.57%.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey hugs a supporter at his election night party Tuesday. Photo by Rick Gerharter  

"I feel pretty good," Dorsey told the B.A.R., adding that, "I am not sure what else is out there to come in" when asked about his expectations for how the vote count could shift as more ballots are tabulated.

He said his message about needing to tackle the open-air drug dealing and overdose deaths on the city's streets had resonated with voters and helped propel him to leading in the race.

"It is not an issue of the month for me," said Dorsey. "It is an obligation of my survival and nothing will stop me from working on it."

A tough on crime message seemed to help Engardio be on the precipice of defeating a sitting supervisor, Mahogany noted during her party remarks.

"Right now in San Francisco we are seeing unprecedented things. On the other side of town a sitting supervisor may be unseated," she noted. "It speaks clearly where the voters are at. We are seeing people be very concerned about safety and looking for a tough on crime message."

Asked about the prospect of serving alongside two out supervisors as he joined Dorsey's election watch party Tuesday night, Mandelman told the B.A.R., "I will be delighted, but I don't think it is over for Gordon at all."

District 10 Supervisor and board President Shamann Walton easily won reelection with 70% of the vote. His opponent, Brian Sam Adam, received 29.84%.

"Serving as your District 10 supervisor and as president of the Board of Supervisors has been one of the highest honors in my life," stated Walton. "When I launched my re-election campaign, I vowed to advocate for the most vulnerable, the most overlooked among us, and fight to make San Francisco a better, more livable place for every one of us."

Having been unopposed, District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani cakewalked into a second term. She netted 100% of the vote.

"To the voters of District 2, thank you so much for entrusting me to continue to serve as your voice at City Hall," tweeted Stefani.

This article will be updated as more ballot returns come in.

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