100 S.F. poll workers call in sick, mostly with COVID

It’s election day in California and the San Francisco Bay Area. For the statewide races, the primary election will officially kick off the 2022 midterms, and though the races at the top of the ticket aren’t seriously contested, plenty of dynamics and competitive races down the ballot will be worth watching. You can read here about what our politics team is paying attention to on election night. Early data on voter turnout in San Francisco showed signs of an unusually low number of people casting ballots Tuesday. However, the national spotlight may be more likely to fall on San Francisco’s recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and what it means for the criminal justice reform movement. 

Here are the latest election updates from around the region and the state:

Price leads race for Alameda County DA

Civil rights attorney Pamela Price, a leader in the East Bay’s criminal justice reform movement, was leading the replace to replace District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who is not seeking re-election. Price had 39.6% of the votes received and counted on Tuesday with Terry Wiley, a 30-year veteran of the office capturing 31.3% and Jimmie Wilson, another prosecutor in the office, with 20.5%. The two top vote recipients in the primary will run for the office in the November general election.

Bonta on top, Hochman and Early battling for 2nd in attorney general race

The election for California attorney general is poised to be a contest of stark contrasts, between a reform-minded liberal incumbent and a staunchly conservative challenger who’s looking to seize on public fears about crime.

Democrat Rob Bonta, who was appointed attorney general last year, had nearly 58% support in Tuesday’s primary election, according to early returns. — Dustin Gardiner

San Francisco propositions: Here are the early results for local ballot measures

In early returns, San Francisco voters backed most measures on the city’s ballot Tuesday, including multiple anti-corruption efforts and a proposition to mandate public health leave for large employers.

Boudin could run for D.A. again. Will he?

Despite being ousted as district attorney on Tuesday, Chesa Boudin could run for that office in November — and some supporters and campaign advocates think he should. John Arntz, San Francisco’s elections chief, said nothing in state or local law prohibits a recalled candidate from running for that office. Mayor London Breed will appoint a successor, probably in late June or early July, and an election will be held in November to fill the remainder of Boudin’s term. Another election will be held in November 2023 for a full four-year term. Boudin would be eligible to run for either or both. Whoever Breed appoints will also be able to run after the defeat of Proposition C, which would have prohibited interim appointees who replace recalled officeholders from running for the office.

A security guard holds a Chesa Boudin sticker ahead of the recall on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
A security guard holds a Chesa Boudin sticker ahead of the recall on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in San Francisco, California.Gabrielle Lurie/The Chronicle

5 big decisions San Francisco’s new D.A. will have to make right away

San Francicans ousted Chesa Boudin on Tuesday, voting to recall the controversial district attorney by a significant margin. While he didn’t serve out his full term, Boudin swiftly implemented several bold policy changes, some of which were more popular than he was as an official.

Here are five big policies that shaped Boudin’s time in office. Whoever replaces him may look to the same areas to set the tone for their administration. — Susie Neilson and Joshua Sharpe 

Boudin have be gone but crime won’t disappear 

Chesa Boudin may have lost his job as district attorney but some of the problems he was blamed for — crime, for instance — and some he was trying to change — like racial disparities in law enforcement — will remain. It will put Mayor London Breed, whose job it is to name his replacement, on the hot seat, says Chronicle Columnist Joe Garofoli.

Prop A supporters optimistic about Muni bond’s fate

The three dozen or so Proposition A supporters who gathered at The Beehive in the Mission District were optimistic that San Francisco voters would pass the $400 million bond measure. Early returns showed the measure led with 64% of the vote. It needs two-thirds approval to pass. “We know that if and when the voters of San Francisco can get us to the two-thirds threshold, we are ready to deliver the transportation system that San Francisco needs,” Jeffrey Tumlin, director of the Municipal Transportation Agency, told supporters Tuesday night. — Ricardo Cano

Boudin’s backers cheer despite recall loss

When District Attorney Chesa Boudin arrived at his election night party at The Ramp nearly an hour after it became obvious he lost the recall — and his job — he was greeted with cheers of “Chesa! Chesa!” and at least one supporter, Supervisor Hillary Ronen declared “Chesa is not going anywhere.”

Boudin, standing atop a keg, shouted: “This is a movement, not a moment.”

Central Valley DA who prosecuted women for stillbirths trails challenger

After facing national backlash for charging two women who delivered stillborns with murder, Kings County District Attorney Keith Fagundes trailed challenger Sarah Hacker 57% to 43% in initial primary returns on Tuesday night.

Civil rights groups like the ACLU battled Fagundes after he prosecuted 29-year-old Adora Perez in 2018 and 26-year-old Chelsea Becker in 2019. Both women struggled with drug abuse and delivered stillborn babies who tested positive for methamphetamine at a hospital in the county seat of Hanford. The convictions were eventually overturned after jail time and long legal appeals.

This year, District Attorney challenger Hacker, a Central Valley-raised lawyer who previously worked alongside Fagundes at the county, framed the contest as a broader referendum on corruption and “preferential treatment” in the local criminal justice system. — Lauren Hepler

Justin Phillips: The District Attorney’s Office is filled with talented attorneys. The recall puts their futures up in the air

Tuesday’s successful recall of San Francisco’s district attorney ends a turbulent two-year campaign against Chesa Boudin. Yet in the final hours leading up to the vote, prominent members of Boudin’s staff were thinking less about what they accomplished since January 2020 and more about with whom they accomplished it. Read Chronicle Columnist Justin Phillips’ take on Boudin’s recall.

Heather Knight: Recall backers aren’t conservative, they’re just angry

San Francisco voters who ousted District Attorney Chesa Boudin from office on Tuesday share a common trait. No, they’re not all closet conservatives conned by rich people into thwarting national criminal justice reform — despite what Boudin’s supporters have said ad nauseam, like that old Chatty Cathy doll that repeats the same phrase every time you pull her string. Read the latest from Chronicle Columnist Heather Knight. 

What Chesa Boudin’s recall means for San Francisco’s stance on crime — and its status as a progressive bastion

On the night San Francisco voters removed him from office, District Attorney Chesa Boudin — a politician narrowly elected amid the fervor of Black Lives Matter, resistance to the presidency of Donald Trump and hope that local prosecutors could improve the criminal justice system — found the limits of the city’s progressivism.

Chesa Boudin recalled 

San Francisco voters removed District Attorney Chesa Boudin from office on Tuesday, favoring a recall effort that argued his progressive reforms were too lenient and made the city less safe.

Challenger leads boss in Alameda County Sheriff race

Yesenia Sanchez, a division commander in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office was leading her boss, Sheriff Gregory Ahern in early results. Sanchez, a division commander, was leading Ahern in early results. She had garnered 47% of the vote to Ahern’s 36%. JoAnn Walker, a San Francisco police officer, had 16.5%.

Election watch parties react to Boudin’s historic recall

Supporters of recalling Chesa Boudin erupt in cheers and chants of “Recall Chesa” as they toast drinks after first results show Boudin is recalled. People embraced and said they were going to cry, overcome with emotion. 

The mood at the Boudin party, where he still hasn’t arrived by 9 p.m., was growing somber as the results trickled through the crowd one person at a time, people staring into their phones with long faces.

Newsom, Padilla advance to November run-off

The incumbent governor and senator easily advanced to the November runoff, the Associated Press projected, with each earning more than 50% of the vote in early totals. State Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, appeared on track to place second and face off against Newsom.

Chavez, Mahan pulling away in San Jose mayor’s race

In early results in the San Jose mayor’s race, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and San Jose City Councilman Matt Hahan were pulling away from the other five candidates. Chavez led with 40.3% of the vote while Mahan has 31.6%. The top two candidates will face off in the November general election.

San Francisco election watch-parties await first batch of recall results 

The polls have closed in San Francisco but the first results in the District Attorney recall election aren’t expected until 8:45 p.m. Supporters of the recall and of District Attorney Chesa Boudin are gathering at their respective election night parties. As polls closed at 8 pm, a couple dozen Yes on H supporters wearing “Recall Chesa Boudin” sweatshirts streamed into tiki bar and nightclub Del Mar on Lombard Street. 

Meanwhile, at The Ramp, a classic waterfront joint near Chase Center, Boudin backers gathered around propane heaters and bunches of balloons tied to beer kegs as soft jazz wafted in the breeze. At both, news reporters and camera crews set up, awaiting results.

California polls closing soon

7:50 p.m. Polls will close soon in California, with the first batch of election results soon to follow. Keep up with The Chronicle’s election night results here.

Santa Clara sheriff candidates seek to restore trust

Amid a corruption probe, Sheriff Laurie Smith decided not to seek another term in the office she’s held since 1998. There’s a five-way race to replace her, a crowded contest that could be headed for a runoff. Kevin Jensen is the most monied candidate in the race and also has endorsements from local law enforcement groups. Sean Allen, a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office, pitches himself as a reformer who supports a strong civilian oversight board. Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen has sought to cast himself as an outsider with decades of experience he can bring to the Sheriff’s Office. Christina Nagaye is a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office and says she wants “complete” reforms. Ahn Colton, an entrepreneur, is also running but hasn’t put forth a detailed platform. — Joshua Sharpe

Will Alameda County vote for a progressive D.A.?

The Chesa Boudin recall election has received national attention as a bellwether for the progressive prosecutor movement in the U.S. But just across the Bay, a candidate with similar politics could possibly become District Attorney of a larger county than San Francisco.

Her name is Pamela Price. A civil rights attorney with decades of experience, she has secured endorsements from progressive prosecutor Larry Krasner and a raft of local activists, including Angela Davis, a UC Santa Cruz professor and former Black Panther. Price last ran for Alameda County District Attorney in 2018, securing 42% of the vote.

Price is up against three other candidates, including Seth Steward, a fellow progressive and current chief of staff to Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb; Terry Wiley, the office’s current chief deputy district attorney who touts his 32 years of experience in the county and is endorsed by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; and Jimmie Wilson, a more tough-on-crime candidate who’s swept up endorsements from the county’s major police unions.

Whoever wins the District Attorney race will succeed longtime incumbent Nancy O’Malley, who has taken a traditional approach to the office and whose policies have been criticized as contributing to disproportionate rates of incarceration among Black and brown county residents. — Dan Kopf

Polls closed or closing soon in five other states

While California’s polls are open for another couple of hours, voting has concluded or is about to conclude in five other states: Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota with polls closing at 7 p.m. Pacific Time in Montana. Congressional contests are the big races in most of those states with contests for governor as well in New Mexico and South Dakota and for Senate in Iowa. With primary elections in seven states, Tuesday is the biggest day for primaries this spring.

A rematch in Solano County sheriff’s race

Solano Conty Sheriff Tom Ferrara is running against Daryl Snedeker, who retired after 23 years with the agency and mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Ferrara in 2018. Snedeker said he’s running because the office needs to be more accountable to the public. He criticized the sheriff’s response to a report that members of the Sheriff’s Office were members of the anti-government Three Percenters group. Ferrara said he has the steady hand needed to lead in turbulent times. — Joshua Sharpe

Contra Costa sheriff race marked by police killings

Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston is fighting for a fourth term against Benjamin Therriault, the Richmond police union leader. Livingston’s candidacy is followed by the controversy of two fatal shootings by deputy Andrew Hall — and the sheriff’s persistent defense of Hall even as he was convicted of assault and sentenced to six years in state prison. Therriault has pitched himself as a responsive leader who will push reforms and support a civilian oversight board to keep the Sheriff’s Office in check, while Livingston is against it. — Joshua Sharpe

Alameda sheriff faces historic opposition

Sheriff Greg Ahern faces opposition for the first time since taking office in 2007. Now he faces two challengers: Yesenia Sanchez, a division commander in the Sheriff’s Office, and JoAnn Walker, a San Francisco police officer. Ahern has endorsements from sheriffs all over the state and the local Republican Party. Sanchez’s campaign is loaded with progressive endorsements and her message has been one of reform. Walker positions herself as an outsider who can tackle problems including conditions at the county’s enormous Santa Rita Jail and increase transparency. — Joshua Sharpe

What voters are saying in a Boudin recall “swing precinct”

Outside of Grace Cathedral in mid-afternoon, tourists took smiling selfies on the church steps and Nob Hill residents strolled down Taylor Street. Just a handful of them walked through the doors of the polling place for 7336, tucked away on the cathedral’s ground floor.

A plurality of voters in Precinct 7336 went for Boudin in the 2019 District Attorney election. But it was among the closest precincts in the city; Boudin garnered 34.6% of the precinct’s vote, just 0.8% more support than challenger Suzy Loftus.

Patrick Metzger, a 34-year-old working in commercial real estate, has lived in the city since 2010. He said he was voting to recall Chesa Boudin because there had been “a lot of crime and homelessness” since 2020. “Somebody in that position could do a much better job with the issues we are facing,” he said.

Jim, an elderly Asian American man who did not provide his last name or profession, said he voted against the recall. “Too many recalls, I think,” he said. “What do you do, vote ‘em in, vote ‘em out, vote ‘em in, vote ‘em out.” He said he voted against the recall because he wanted to give Boudin “a fair chance.” However, Jim said he did vote to recall the school board in February.

Daphne Sheldon, a retired assistant to “a few companies on the New York Stock Exchange” who gave her age as “over 70,” said she voted to recall Boudin “because of all the crime and how he lets out all the criminals.”

“I rarely go downtown anymore,” she added; she said she only goes to see the dentist and get facials now. “At lunch on Sacramento (Street), I wouldn’t dress the way I do now.” She was wearing gold jewelry and expensive-looking clothing.

Chop Yong, a retired service worker in the hotel industry, said he also voted yes on the recall — but said he thought that issues of public safety in San Francisco extended beyond the District Attorney.

“They say there’s a 500% increase in crime,” he said, referencing stories on an increase in hate crimes against Asian San Franciscans.

Hate crime statistics are tricky and often influenced by how they are categorized by prosecutors and law enforcement. San Francisco police reported a 567% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021, but the number of crimes remained small overall, and just one man was responsible for half of that increase.

“The police take a long time, (and) the D.A. is not responsible for all that,” he said. “Police have accountability, also the mayor. But the D.A. … I still think he is responsible. Since he took office, it seems crime is going up. Car break-ins, window breaking happens all the time.”

Previous Chronicle analyses have found that overall reported crime has decreased since 2019, but some categories of crime, like burglaries, have increased. — Susie Neilson

Timeline: Key moments in the Chesa Boudin recall election

Boudin took office in January 2020 after pitching himself as a former public defender committed to combating mass incarceration. In short order he began making moves to do so, but then came the COVID pandemic, which coincided with massive social upheaval and surges in crime across the U.S.

Before any of this happened, however, some were already taking aim at Boudin. Several weeks before he took office, the website recallchesa.com was registered by an anonymous person.

Here’s a look at key moments in the run-up to the recall.

About 100 S.F. poll workers call in sick, mostly with COVID

Roughly 100 poll workers in San Francisco called in sick Tuesday — most for COVID-related reasons — but the absences didn’t cause any significant impacts at polling places and voting centers, and won’t affect the vote count, Elections Department Director John Arntz said. The number of absences is about 5% of the city’s total poll workers, he said, and the department had 100 employees on standby at City Hall, ready to be dispatched where absences occurred. All polling places remained open, he said, and all will report returns on Tuesday night. No delays are anticipated, Arntz said.

Two attempt to unseat Santa Clara DA

Three-term Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is fending off competition from the left and the right, battling progressive public defender Sajid Khan and former local prosecutor Daniel Chung, who accuses Rosen of not being tough enough on crime. Rosen has positioned himself as the centrist in the race, while also touting progressive bonafides. Khan is pushing alternatives to incarceration and a more equitable system while Chung says he wants to be focused on public safety. — Joshua Sharpe

Solano DA challenged by her chief deputy

District Attorney Krishna Abrams is trying to hold off Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry. Henry has endorsements from various Democratic groups while Abrams counts the local deputy sheriffs association among her supporters. Abrams, DA since 2014, touts increased use of diversion programs such as restorative justice and her efforts to connect with the community. She’s also encountered criticism for her handling of killings by local law enforcement — including criticism from Henry. — Joshua Sharpe

Contra Costa DA takes challenge from the right

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton is hoping to beat back a challenge from Mary Knox, a prosecutor in her office. Knox has drawn heavy support from law enforcement interests and has struck a more conservative tone. Becton, one of the few progressive prosecutors to break through in 2018, caused upset among some law enforcement after prosecuting a local sheriff’s deputy for killing a motorist. — Joshua Sharpe

Haven’t voted yet? You’ve still got options

Most California cities and counties have in-person voting centers and some polling places that close at 8 p.m. Every registered voter in California should have received a mail-in ballot — and those can be filled out and dropped into a mailbox as long as they’re postmarked with the June 7 date and received by Jun 14. Many cities also have secured drop-boxes where ballots may be deposited until 8 p.m. It’s best to drop your ballot as soon as possible to avoid delays or uncounted ballots. To track what’s happening with your ballot after it’s dropped off, go to: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/dashboard

Alameda to elect new DA for first time in a decade

Alameda County voters are choosing a new district attorney for the first time since Nancy O’Malley took office in 2009. Her retirement created a four-way race to succeed her. The candidates are vying to take the reigns of the agency at a time when fears of rising gun violence in Oakland collides with calls for greater investment in criminal justice reforms. As with any four-way race, it could head to a runoff. But whoever wins will make history as the county’s first Black top prosecutor. — Joshua Sharpe

5 things The Chronicle’s politics team will be watching tonight

Though the races at the top of the ticket aren’t seriously contested, plenty of competitive races down the ballot are worth watching. From what we can learn about trends heading into November to what the results mean for independents as a political force, here’s what our politics team is paying attention to on California’s election night.

Lyle Guanzon fills out his ballot at Mutiny Radio on Election Day in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Lyle Guanzon fills out his ballot at Mutiny Radio on Election Day in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. Tuesday, June 7, 2022.Stephen Lam/The Chronicle

“Stay in line,” state officials tell late voters

There is still plenty of time to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, even for those who can’t make it to the ballot box until they are set to close. “If you are in line when the polls close at 8 p.m. tonight, STAY IN LINE. You still have the right to cast your ballot,” the California Secretary of State office tweeted Tuesday. That means even those who feel the urge to vote at 7:59 p.m. are entitled to do so, as long as they make it down to their neighborhood polling place in under 60 seconds. Those who registered late can also vote on Tuesday, per state rules, even if their name is not on the list. “You will vote using a provisional ballot. Your vote will be counted if elections officials determine that you are eligible to vote,” according to the state’s voter bill of rights.

Chinatown polling station sees “slow, steady stream” of voters

2:55 p.m. The City College polling location on Kearny Street in San Francisco saw around a dozen in-precinct voters, five provisional voters and around 20 people dropping off ballots as of Tuesday afternoon, said Sandra Fong, a poll worker. She said traffic was comparable to prior elections.

Christina Harsanyi, a Russian Hill resident, dropped off her ballot during her work lunch break and said she strongly supported the Boudin recall. “I don’t feel particularly safe in my neighborhood due to an increase in crime,” she said, citing needles, fires set on the street and break-ins around her home. “I feel like it’s my civic duty to vote.” Harsanyi said she supported replacing Boudin with a more aggressive prosecutor. — Roland Li

Do independents have a shot statewide?

Two high-profile independents running for statewide offices are on the ballot in Tuesday’s election: activist and author Michael Shellenberger, who’s running for governor and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who’s vying for state attorney general. But recent polling suggests both are likely to get edged out by Republicans as they compete for the second-place spot to go against Democratic heavyweights Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta in the November general election. According to a recent poll from the Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, Shellenberger and Schubert had the support of 5% and 6% of likely voters in their contests, respectively. But if either dark horse candidates squeaks through, it could make Democrats fight harder to hold onto those prized posts. — Dustin Gardiner

Redistricting might shuffle some names on ballots

For some Bay Area voters, Tuesday’s election might be the first time they realize the effects of redistricting. While most of the region was unchanged, a few congressional districts are substantially different than what voters may have been used to the last 10 years. In the East Bay and North Bay, a new district that includes Richmond and Vallejo is being sought by Rep. John Garamendi of Walnut Grove, as his former north state district was broken up among others in redistricting. In the South Bay, San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren will represent less of her home city, with a district that now extends south past Gilroy into San Benito. Meanwhile, Carmel Valley Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s district now extends up the Central Coast and into South San Jose. Other districts were changed at the margins. None of the changes jeopardize incumbents, however, and all of those Democrats are expected to return to Congress. — Tal Kopan

Some primary results will not be called Tuesday night

The Secretary of State’s office will compile voting data and publish the statewide results as soon as polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, but it may take a few more days to determine winners in some of the tighter races. Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber told KCRA that in addition to counting the votes of people who show up to the polls for the primaries, her office will also have to tally absentee and provisional ballots. “We have ballots that may be put into the mailbox today and postmarked today, and so we won’t get a chance to count those until later,” she said. The Secretary of State’s Office has 30 days to certify the election, but Weber said trends in ballots counted today will reveal some early winners. She added that she was not surprised by the low rate of statewide ballot returns, just 15%, ahead of the primary elections. “We’ve had a lot of elections in the last year and a half, and so sometimes folks are like, ‘Are we voting again?’ You know, kind of voter fatigue to some extent. But we’re really pushing hard,” she said. 

Pelosi spends Election Day in D.C. focused on gun violence

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, up for re-election in her San Francisco district in Tuesday’s primary, spent election day in Washington, where Congress is considering gun legislation. Pelosi did vote, though, and tweeted a picture of herself dropping her ballot at a San Francisco library on Monday. On Tuesday morning, she appeared at a gun violence memorial on the National Mall to call for legislation to promote gun safety. “We owe the children of our country so much more than excuses to why we don’t have legislation,” Pelosi said. “It is a message that I send to elected officials all the time. You can’t vote for these bills because it’s a problem for you politically? Understand this: your political survival is nothing compared to the survival of our children.” She also met with actor and native of Uvalde, Texas, Matthew McConaughey, who visited the Capitol before making an impassioned speech for gun safety legislation from the White House briefing podium. — Tal Kopan

“There’s people selling drugs right out front”

12:50 p.m. Michael Wilbert, the owner of Del Mar in the Marina, cast his vote at Marina Middle School. He voted to recall Boudin because of his experience both as a business owner and in running a bar in SoMa for several years. “What Boudin is doing is affecting my business,” he said. “There’s people selling drugs right out front.” He said that police have told him they feel like they can’t do their job if the district attorney won’t prosecute. Wilbert hoped the recall would succeed as a step towards getting crime under control. — Danielle Echeverria

Boudin’s office is prosecuting 8 SFPD officers. What happens to those cases if he’s recalled?

District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office has prioritized police officer prosecutions in a way that is all but unheard of throughout the nation: nine criminal cases against police for alleged misconduct while on duty. One officer accused of excessive force was acquitted earlier this year, but the eight others have yet to reach a resolution. If Boudin is recalled, a replacement appointed by Mayor London Breed would have the power to continue or alter the course of the current cases. Breed would be expected to appoint a moderate Democrat if the recall succeeds, and that direction would almost certainly be good news for the officers already charged, as well as those who will come under scrutiny in the future. — Megan Cassidy

Alex Padilla, likely to retain Senate seat twice, campaigns in final stretch

Democrat Alex Padilla, now filling the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021, appears on the Tuesday primary ballot twice — running both to retain his seat through January and in a separate contest to win a new six-year term. Without a strong challenger emerging on the ballot, Padilla still has been campaigning hard, and he tweeted out a plea for support on election day. “As California secretary of state, I worked hard to implement reforms that made our elections the most inclusive in the nation,” he tweeted. “Today — whether it’s at a local vote center, or through a mail-in ballot, remember to exercise your right to vote.”

S.F. polling places see slow voter traffic

12:30 p.m. Poll workers in the Inner Sunset, Outer Sunset, Mission and Marina say that in-person voting was slow through the morning. “Hopefully people are dropping off their mail-in ballots,” a poll worker in the Marina said. In the Mission, one joked that she had her first line of the day as two people waited to get their ballots around 11 a.m. — Danielle Echeverria

Newsom casts ballot in Sacramento before heading to Americas summit

Gov. Gavin Newsom voted Tuesday at the secretary of state’s office in Sacramento before heading off to Los Angeles to attend climate-related events at the Conference of the Americas summit, spokesperson Nathan Click said. He did not plan any election night events. An incumbent Democrat in a heavily blue state, the governor faces what looks like an easy re-election race this year. Newsom, who finished his isolation period Thursday after a bout of COVID-19, tweeted a photo of himself voting with a face mask on. He wrote, “Happy Election Day, California!  Make sure you take the time to vote today!” The hemispheric summit of leaders from North, Central and South America began Monday and ends Friday. — Sophia Bollag

Tech bolsters Muni bond

Supporters of Proposition A, the $400 million Muni bond measure, have raised over $1.3 million for the measure. Major donors include tech firms Cruise, Salesforce, Facebook parent Meta, Lyft, Airbnb and Stripe. There is no opposition campaign, but the measure requires a two-thirds threshold to pass, not just a simple majority. Read more about Proposition A here. Aside from the Boudin recall, the other San Francisco five ballot measures have each raised less than $400,000, while the uncontested re-election of City Attorney David Chiu has raised $567,805. — Roland Li

Treasurer Fiona Ma’s campaign has raised 7 times as much as nearest rival

State Treasurer Fiona Ma, who has faced a series of scandals during her first term in office, raised about $1.9 million in campaign funds going into Tuesday’s primary election, according to CalMatters. That’s seven times greater than the $273,000 secured by her closest challenger, Republican Andrew Do, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors who has been accused of ethical lapses of his own. Ma is likely to reclaim her office, as neither of the other challengers in the race — Jack Guerrero, a council member from the small city of Cudahy in southeast Los Angeles County, and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Meghann Adams, a school bus driver from San Francisco — reported raising over $5,000 as of June 1.

L.A. deputy district attorney warns boss, George Gascon: “You’re next”

As San Francisco voters decide whether to oust District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a Los Angeles deputy district attorney said a campaign to recall his boss — San Francisco’s former district attorney — will be next. “I want to tell everybody and tell George Gascon is, you’re next,” Jon Hatami told Fox News. “The people of Los Angeles have had enough.”

San Francisco and Los Angeles critics have accused the progressive district attorneys of being soft on crime, with fixed policies that favor offenders over victims. The Recall George Gascon campaign, the second recall effort against Gascon, who left San Francisco in 2019 to seek his current position in Los Angeles, said it had collected 500,000 signatures Monday. It needs 67,000 more by July 6 to put the recall on a ballot. “There are many individuals that are willing to collaborate with others and come up with some good reforms, but reforms that don’t sacrifice public safety,” Hatami said.

San Jose looks for new mayor in costly race to run Bay Area’s most populous city

For the first time since 2014, San Jose voters are going to the polls without an incumbent mayor on the ballot. Sam Liccardo is terming out after serving two terms, leaving the office open to seven hopeful successors in the Bay Area’s most populous city. The four frontrunners together have raised over $2.5 million , according to San Jose Spotlight, with top contender Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez pulling in $1.1 million alone.

Chavez has the support of five political action committees, including those backed by labor and police unions, the San Francisco 49ers and Bloom Energy executive Carl Guardino. Her closest rival, Council Member Matt Mahan, is supported by Common Good Silicon Valley, a PAC formed by Liccardo with the backing of real estate billionaire George Marcus, venture capitalist Ron Conway’s family trust, former tech executive turned investor Michael Stoppelman, entrepreneur Joseph Green, Meta executives Monika Bickert and David Wehner and Lyft executive Tali Rapaport.

San Jose Council Members Dev Davis and Raul Peralez, who also have wide popular support, have fallen short of receiving outside financial backing. “It’s always harder to get your message through when you have fewer dollars,” Davis told San Jose Spotlight. “As a voter, I would consider whether people who are getting (PAC dollars) are making promises behind the scenes that the voters don’t know about.”

Pro-recall side in Chesa Boudin race outraised recall opponents by more than 2-to-1

The recall election of District Attorney Chesa Boudin is attracting so much attention that it feels more like a national-level race — and it’s funded more like one, too. Through June 1, campaign finance data shows that fundraising for both sides of the Boudin recall totaled $10.5 million, more than twice as much as the $5.2 million raised by nine candidates during the 2018 special election for mayor.
The bulk of the money has been raised by the pro-recall campaign. By the end of May, local groups created to recall Boudin had raised $7.2 million, more than twice as much as the $3.3 million raised by anti-recall committees, according to campaign finance data.

Most of the pro-recall funding came from real estate advocacy groups, tech investors and the super PAC Neighbors for a Better San Francisco Advocacy, which counts Republican billionaire William Oberndorf among its largest contributors. The anti-recall campaign’s biggest donors included several progressive PACs, along with local chapters of the ACLU and the Service Employees International Union. — Susie Neilson

“Onus is on both groups to enforce the law”

10:45 a.m. Andrew Wu, a longtime San Franciscan and musician, dropped off his ballot Tuesday at the Ortega library. He said he votes in every election, but he was particularly passionate about this one, eager to vote against the “conservative push” to recall Chesa Boudin. In his opinion, police officers sometimes see crime and don’t do anything about it, hindering what Boudin as district attorney can do to stop crime. “The onus is on both groups to enforce the law,” he said. He also said that he voted against Pelosi, preferring to see someone more progressive in her seat. — Danielle Echeverria

Newsom declares “Immigrant Heritage Month” on election day

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to ease into a second and final term in the California primary, issued a proclamation on Tuesday declaring June 2022 as “Immigrant Heritage Month” in the state. “In California, we understand that our strength is in our diversity. Immigrants and their descendants bring new ideas, perspectives and cultural assets that shape and power California and our nation,” the governor said in the proclamation. “Immigrants, whether they arrived to seek safety or opportunity, have been integral to the identity and growth of California as we know it. The state will continue to support and stand with immigrant families and lead in building more inclusive and just policies which foster innovation and advance our collective economic and community growth.” 

Early voting data shows unusually low turnout in San Francisco

San Francisco’s Department of Elections received about 110,000 vote-by-mail ballots by the end of Monday — that’s a 22% return rate pre-election day. It is lower than the rates in recent citywide elections: the 2020 presidential election had 62% of ballots returned before election day, the 2021 Newsom recall was 48%, and even the school board recall earlier this year had a higher rate at 24%.

Statewide numbers are similarly low: 15% of ballots returned as of Monday, according to the consulting firm Political Data Intelligence. In the nine-county Bay Area, Napa County has the highest percentage of 24%, while Solano and Alameda counties have the lowest rates at 13%.

San Francisco turnout is on track to likely be the lowest in recent years. Since the start of the pandemic, most San Franciscans cast ballots before election day — either by sending vote-by-mail ballots in the mail or dropping them off at voting centers. In the last three citywide elections, two-thirds or more of all votes came in pre-election day. This is likely true of this election as well — about a third of votes will be cast in-person or delivered to the elections department today or in the next few days.

Thus, it’s hard to imagine overall turnout exceeding the 36% seen in the February school board recall. That’s part of what The Chronicle will consider when calling the elections Tuesday night. — Dan Kopf

How this S.F. ballot measure could affect Boudin recall aftermath

If San Franciscans vote to oust District Attorney Chesa Boudin in the recall election, Mayor London Breed will be the one to choose his replacement. But another measure on Tuesday’s ballot, Prop. C , could add a wrinkle to that policy by requiring that anyone Breed chooses is merely a placeholder district attorney until the next election.

Billed as a recall reform initiative, Prop. C restricts recall replacements selected by the mayor from running for that seat again in an election. If this measure succeeds, anyone who wants to be the city’s top prosecutor for more than a few months would likely pass on becoming Breed’s appointment. If Boudin is recalled, the next election for the position will be in November. If he survives, he will be up for re-election in 2023. — Megan Cassidy

“Give them a chance to finish the term”

10:00 a.m. Mike Rosene, an Outer Sunset resident, cast his vote at Sunset Elementary School. He said that he voted no on the recall, and finds recalls to be a waste of taxpayer dollars. “It’s such a short term,” he said of the district attorney role. “You have to give them a chance to finish the term, and if you’re unhappy, you can vote your guy in at the next election.” — Danielle Echeverria

Boudin, in crosshairs, repeats “Republican” accusations in Democratic S.F.

San Francisco voters fed up with brutal attacks against Asian seniors, brazen burglaries and auto smash-and-grabs will vote on whether to recall the city’s district attorney on Tuesday. Chesa Boudin, a former public defender, was narrowly elected in 2019 on the back of a campaign on which he vowed to target police officers and corporations. But supporters of the recall say Boudin has failed to protect everyday residents of the city due to his lack of experience and fixed ideology, which often finds him seeking to avoid charging criminals and siding with offenders over victims, the Associated Press reports.

His prosecutors are not allowed to seek cash bail for defendants, charge juveniles as adults, or request longer sentences due to a defendant’s gang affiliations. Casting his ballot at City Hall on Monday, Boudin once again branded the recall as a ploy by “Republican billionaires.” But in San Francisco, where just 7% of registered voters align with the GOP, residents may be sending out a broader message. “It’s a vote of general discontent,” said Jason McDaniel, associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University. “San Francisco voters are largely very liberal and favorable toward criminal justice reform and yet, in a time when we’ve got a lot of people upset about a lot of things, you don’t want to become the target of that.”

The race for state controller is exciting, we swear

California’s typically sleepy controller’s race is one to watch Tuesday – particularly to see which of the four Democrats may emerge as one of the top two candidates that will advance to the general election in November.

Stanford University scholar and former Mitt Romney policy advisor Lanhee Chen is likely to advance, given that he is the only Republican in the race and will likely corral most of the 24% of voters who are registered Republicans. The Democrats – Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda and Monterey Park City Council member Yvonne Yiu – will split the 47% of the state’s registered Democrats along with Green Party candidate Laura Wells. California’s 23% of no party preference voters are up for grabs.

The Democrats are largely in agreement on many issues. But they differ on an issue that affects billions of dollars and tens of thousands of Californians: Should California’s pension funds — among the nation’s largest — divest from fossil fuel companies? 

Last month, the state Senate passed a bill that would require them to divest. But representatives for the pension funds — backed by some in big labor — say it shouldn’t. The measure still must be approved by the Assembly and the governor.

Chen and Galperin oppose divestment, as does the current controller Betty Yee. The others support the measure. With a lack of a clear Democratic favorite – although Cohen won the state party endorsement –  it could be issues like this that may nudge one candidate into the top two.

Boudin recall organizers start early to get out the vote

More than a dozen volunteers for the campaign to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin waved “Yes on H” signs near the Golden Gate Park entrance at 19th Avenue and Lincoln around 8:15 a.m. as cars honked through the intersection. “We start early, we end late. We just want to get out every vote we can,” said Mary Jung, the chair of the campaign to recall Boudin, who said she had been up since 3:30 a.m. working on last minute efforts to encourage voters. “All eyes are on what’s happening today,” said Andrea Shorter, a lead organizer with the campaign. — Danielle Echeverria

What Mayor Breed will be watching

San Francisco Mayor London Breed will have her eye on a few things on the ballot Tuesday. She introduced Proposition A, a $400 million bond measure to fund Muni, and endorsed former San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen for state controller.  She could possibly make rounds to either or both related election night parties, although her staff said her schedule wouldn’t be finalized until election night. And while Breed hasn’t come out publicly for or against the recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin, she’ll surely be closely watching the result, since if he is recalled, she’ll be responsible for picking his replacement. — Mallory Moench

Bonta faces a group of wildcards in his first statewide election

Attorney General Rob Bonta, the former assemblyman appointed to his position by Gov. Gavin Newsom last year, is up for his first statewide election Tuesday. Running against him are Republicans Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor and former assistant U.S. attorney general endorsed by the state party, and private attorney Eric Early, legal counsel for the unsuccessful effort to recall Newsom last year, reports the Associated Press. Also vying for the position are Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who gave up her Republican affiliation four years ago and is running as an independent, and Green Party candidate Dan Kapelovitz.

Bonta appears to be the top choice for 46% of likely voters, based on a poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and the Los Angeles Times. But his challengers are hoping that Bonta’s ties to embattled San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who faces a recall election on Tuesday, and to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón may improve their chances. Hochman has labeled them “the let ’em go guys,” in an election where crime is a hotly contested issue. 

Homelessness and crime set course in race for L.A. mayor

Democratic U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and Republican-turned-Democrat billionaire Rick Caruso have emerged as the frontrunners out of 12 candidates in the race to become Los Angeles’ next mayor. Their campaigns have focused on quality-of-life issues like homelessness, crime, and soaring rents and home prices, the Associated Press reports. If elected, Bass could become the first woman mayor of Los Angeles and the second Black person to hold the office. But Caruso, 63, who sits on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and was endorsed by the police union, has gained a surprising groundswell of support in the heavily Democratic region by positioning himself as a centrist outsider running against City Hall’s progressive establishment. The last time Los Angeles veered to the political right was in 1993, when voters turned to Republican businessman Richard Riordan to lead the city following the deadly 1992 riots. Because it is Los Angeles, the contest has drawn several high-profile celebrity endorsements, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson backing Bass, while Caruso has Snoop Dogg and Gwyneth Paltrow behind him.

Newsom expected to cruise to victory in California primary

Having beat back a recall effort less than a year ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to easily come out on top in Tuesday’s primary even with 25 challengers to his position on the ballot. “I think the only loss for the governor is failing to win really, really big,” Jessica Levinson, a political commentator and election law professor at Loyola Marymount University, told the Associated Press. “This is almost the definition of a noncompetitive race.” Newsom has not devoted nearly as much time to his re-election effort as he did the recall, primarily taking credit for a string of record budget surpluses during his first term in office. He has also vowed to turn California into a sanctuary for women seeking abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. Primarily, Newsom has ended nearly all the COVID-19 restrictions that drew the ire of his most vehement critics during the recall fight, countering that his actions saved lives, with statistics showing California’s per capita death rate was better than Texas, Florida and most other states.

California primary on track for a historically low turnout

Even with nearly 82% of eligible Californians registered to vote ahead of the primary election, early data indicates the state could see a historically low turnout at the polls. As of Tuesday morning, about 15% of voters had returned their ballots, according to tracking data from the consulting firm Political Data Intelligence. Political observers believe the lack of interest in the primary has to do with the low-stakes choices in the top competitive races, with early polling suggesting overwhelming support for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Alex Padilla and Attorney General Rob Bonta. If the numbers hold, turnout could be lower than that of the record-setting 2014 primary election, which drew out just 25.17% of registered voters. The numbers in San Francisco could buck the statewide trend, with a much-publicized effort to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin on the table.

What Chesa Boudin and S.F. supervisors are doing on election day 

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was expected to urge voters to reject his recall on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., when he will be joined by Supervisor Dean Preston on a street corner near Alamo Square to begin an election day push against Proposition H. Preston is among a majority of supervisors who oppose the recall. Another opponent, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, spent the weekend canvassing with the No on H campaign and plans to attend an anti-recall party Tuesday night. Supervisors Catherine Stefani and Matt Dorsey support the recall.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin will attend a Tuesday evening gathering at a North Beach restaurant to support Proposition F, the ballot measure that Peskin and Mayor London Breed championed to reform the city’s relationship with trash-hauler Recology. The measure would shake up the way San Francisco approves Recology’s rates and allow the city to potentially cancel the company’s monopoly on local garbage collection without going back to the ballot. The event Peskin is attending is also intended to show support for Proposition A, the $400 million bond proposed to fund various Muni upgrades. – J.D. Morris

Supporters cheer as District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks at a campaign fundraiser to vote “No on H” at Zeitgeist bar on Friday, June 3, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
Supporters cheer as District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks at a campaign fundraiser to vote “No on H” at Zeitgeist bar on Friday, June 3, 2022 in San Francisco, California.Gabrielle Lurie/The Chronicle

Chesa Boudin enters election day with odds stacked against him

Boudin faces steep odds in the recall election today, with polls released since March consistently indicating over half of San Francisco voters support his ouster. His chances seemed to have improved as election day drew closer though, with some more recent surveys showing thinner margins or, in one case, an even split.

Polls released by the recall team and the Chamber of Commerce reported that nearly 70% of likely voters supported the recall, while surveys conducted by the San Francisco Standard and San Francisco Examiner showed 57% and 56% of respondents, respectively, favored the recall. A poll released by Boudin’s team this month gives him the best odds, with a tie of 47% in support of the recall and 47% opposed, 48 Hills reported. — Megan Cassidy 

Marital bliss … on the ballot

Attorney General Rob Bonta and Assembly Member Mia Bonta appear on Tuesday’s ballot together — a first for the East Bay power couple. The Democratic duo are both running for re-election, though Mia Bonta is only on the ballot for voters in the 18th Assembly District (Oakland, Alameda). The couple is expected to cast their ballots together at a voting center in Alameda. She is running for a full term in the district that her husband previously represented. Mia Bonta won a special election to the seat last summer, after Rob Bonta resigned because he was appointed state attorney general by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Rob Bonta is running for a full term as attorney general (he’s currently serving out the remainder of Xavier Becerra’s term; he stepped down as attorney general to become President Biden’s secretary of health and human services). Political musical chairs at its finest.

Our interview with Chesa Boudin

Last week, Chesa Boudin sat down with San Francisco Chronicle Director of News and Fifth & Mission podcast co-host Demian Bulwa to talk about the recall and the state of crime in the city. 

“I’m working as hard as I can every day to make the city safer for all of us,” Boudin said, “and I can’t blame people … for being frustrated. The last two years have presented us individually and collectively with challenges and changes we never could have anticipated.”

You can listen to the full interview here. 

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) walks out of a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) walks out of a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Shuran Huang/Special to The Chronicle

Alex Padilla’s debut

Tuesday is the first time on the ballot for his Senate seat for Alex Padilla, and though he has a lot of challengers, he doesn’t have much competition. But Padilla hasn’t been taking it easy since Newsom named him to replace Vice President Kamala Harris when she went to the White House. We spent some time following Padilla around the Capitol and spoke with him at length. The Democrat has been working overtime both politically and on policy since he got to Washington – locking up the endorsements of his colleagues to edge out any major challengers and positioning himself at the center of key legislative debates, including immigration and voting rights. That said, he hasn’t racked up major legislative victories in Washington, where any legislative progress is rare. 

More on what to know about Padilla, from reporter Tal Kopan’s story.

Former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chats with Democratic congressional candidate Will Rollins at her home in Rancho Mirage (Riverside County). Boxer has thrown herself into the campaign to unseat GOP Rep. Ken Calvert, which Riverside County Democrats say has the potential to be a key pickup in a midterm year.

Former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chats with Democratic congressional candidate Will Rollins at her home in Rancho Mirage (Riverside County). Boxer has thrown herself into the campaign to unseat GOP Rep. Ken Calvert, which Riverside County Democrats say has the potential to be a key pickup in a midterm year.

Martina Albertazzi/Special to The Chronicle

A sleeper race in the Coachella Valley?

Sen. Barbara Boxer was a content retiree in Rancho Mirage, then redistricting came. Her home in the Coachella Valley was added to Republican Rep. Ken Calvert district, which also includes parts of western Riverside County. So she’s been working hard to help the campaign of a former federal prosecutor and political newcomer in Palm Springs, Will Rollins. Democrats hope it’s a sleeper pickup opportunity, while Republicans say Democrats are dreaming if they think they can overcome headwinds from inflation and President Biden’s unpopularity. Tuesday’s results will be an opportunity to test the theories of the case and see whether Calvert shows any sign of being vulnerable. 

Go here for more on the race and Boxer’s involvement.

Impact of Asian American voters in Boudin recall

The campaign to recall Boudin is targeting the city’s Asian American voters with a blitz of Chinese-language ads and endorsements from victims’ families, arguing that the district attorney has failed to adequately address violence against Asians.

Boudin argues that he has charged numerous suspects in murder and assault cases against Asians, and last week he announced the creation of an Asian American Pacific Islander victim services unit.

The push by both sides suggests Asian voters — who make up a third of the city’s population — will be critical to the outcome. While there’s no data on how many are registered voters, nearly 30,000 request Chinese ballots, the largest non-English group in the city and 6% of the electorate.

Go here to read more about the recall campaign’s ‘unprecedented’ effort to court Asian voters

Leave a Comment