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San Francisco mayoral election, 2007


San Francisco mayoral election, 2007

San Francisco mayoral election, 2007

November 6, 2007

Candidate Gavin Newsom Other candidates
Party Democratic Party (United States) Other
Popular vote 105,596 37,763
Percentage 73.66% 26.34%

Mayor before election

Gavin Newsom
Democratic Party (United States)

Reelected Mayor

Gavin Newsom
Democratic Party (United States)

The 2007 San Francisco mayoral election occurred on November 6, 2007. Voters elected a Mayor of San Francisco and several local officials. Incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom was re-elected by a good margin. There were 12 candidates on the ballot as well as 6 write-ins.

Besides Newsom, other notable candidates included Josh Wolf, a journalist who was jailed for refusing to testify and turn over video evidence to a federal grand jury. Another candidate, "Chicken" John Rinaldi, qualified for public financing of his campaign but ran into procedural difficulties with San Francisco's Election Commission.

It was the first mayoral election in San Francisco history to use instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, so that there would be no need for a run-off. Results of the election weren't known for weeks because every ballot had to be hand-counted due to the long feud between the Elections Department of San Francisco and the California Secretary of State.[1]


Many ongoing and emerging issues might have influenced this election. They include:

  • Newsom's popularity - Newsom's approval rating has remained high throughout his first term
  • Same-sex marriage - Newsom's 2004 directive permitting the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples played a key role in garnering wide approval from the largely liberal city.
  • Potholes, infrastructure, deferred maintenance, and the mayor's plans to improve Muni.
  • Keeping the San Francisco 49ers football team within city limits, as the team has threatened to move to a more spacious suburban stadium in Santa Clara County. The move would create a situation similar to that of the New York Jets and New York Giants, who both play at the New Jersey Meadowlands.
  • The city's high homicide rate might also hurt Newsom during the campaign. A national survey gives San Francisco low marks for public safety.[2] Indeed, San Francisco ranked well below both Los Angeles and New York City.
  • Homelessness and transportation issues from previous years remain relevant. Public perception of the mayor's "Care, Not Cash" program (which reduces welfare payments in favor of long-term subsidized housing) will likely inform the debate.
  • On February 1, 2007, Newsom admitted to having an affair with his campaign manager's wife, who was working in City Hall. Newsom later apologized about the scandal.[3]


Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan, though most candidates in San Francisco do receive funding and support from various political parties.

San Francisco mayoral election, 2007[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gavin Newsom (incumbent) 105,596 73.66%
Democratic Quintin Mecke 9,076 6.33%
Republican Harold Hoogasian 8,400 5.86%
Peace and Freedom Wilma Pang 7,274 5.07%
Independent Ahimsa Sumchai 3,398 2.37%
Green Chicken John 2,508 1.75%
Marijuana Lonnie Holmes 1,807 1.26%
Green Josh Wolf 1,772 1.24%
Workers World Grasshopper Kaplan 1,423 0.99%
Independent Harold Brown 915 0.64%
Libertarian George Davis 644 0.45%
American Independent Michael Powers 519 0.36%
Independent Lea Sherman (write-in) 9 0.01%
Independent Rodney Hauge (write-in) 6 0.00%
Independent Patrick Monette-Shaw (write-in) 6 0.00%
Independent Kenneth Kahn (write-in) 3 0.00%
Independent Robert Kully (write-in) 2 0.00%
Independent Robert McCullough (write-in) 1 0.00%
Totals 143,359 100.00%
Democratic hold


  1. ^ Counting S.F. ballots will take a record amount of time, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 2007 Archived May 25, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ The Most, Least Dangerous U.S. Cities, Associated Press, October 30, 2006 Archived June 24, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Newsom apologizes at press conference, The San Francisco Chronicle, February 1, 2007 Archived April 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Municipal Election November 6, 2007: Election Summary". San Francisco Department of Elections. 2007-12-07. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 

External links

  • Act Locally SF; Official Campaign Website for Gavin Newsom
  • Race for Mayor 2007
  • Cast of characters livens up the field

Candidate Web sites

  • Quentin Mecke for Mayor
  • Ahimsa Porter Sumchai
  • Vote for "Chicken" John Rimaldi
  • Josh Wolf 4 Mayor
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