As we predicted, it appears Rafael Mandelman has beat incumbent Jeff Sheehy for the seat of District 8 supervisor.
A little more than a dozen of Mandelman’s team was still hanging around Cafe du Nord by 11 p.m. A tired Mandelman still managed to talk to every person who approached him with a gentle smile and warm hand-shake.
“I feel great. I think we ran a really strong campaigning,” he said. “Voters yesterday responded. It’s been an amazing experience, knocking on all those doors last year and hearing about what matters to people and addressing their issues and I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and actually try to make changes in City Hall.
“I just want to express my tremendous gratitude for all the work people did today, an amazing team, hundreds of volunteers out, knocking on doors making phone calls. We’ve got tremendous support from folks in every neighborhood in the district, and I just am so grateful that I’m given this chance to try and make a difference,” he added.
Mandelman and Leno co-endorsed each other for this race. Just yesterday, they appeared in the Castro, where Mandelman said he hoped Leno would win. When asked to comment on the close race between Leno and Breed, his support still remained strong.
“Oh, I think Mark Leno has run an inspiring campaign,” Mandelman said. “I think that he has he will be such a great mayor for this city, and I’m hopeful that he will still pull it out.”
Sheehy was appointed to the position after former-Mayor Ed Lee chose him to fill Scott Wiener’s seat on the Board of Directors in January 2017, upon Wiener’s election to the state Senate.
A former president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and director of communications at the UCSF’s AIDS Research Institute, Sheehy was well-known in the queer community and among sexual-health advocates, but less so in political circles. Nevertheless, he managed to get a lot done while on the Board, introducing legislation that banned bicycle chop shops, and diving head first into the chaotic cannabis legalization battles. But when all is said and done, his drift over from the moderate camp of supervisors toward the progressive may have simply alienated both sides of voters.
In contrast, Mandelman’s record of success as an urban-development attorney and current president of the City College Board of Trustees seems to have resonated with voters, as has his enormous list of endorsees, which range from the Harvey Milk Democratic Club to five of Sheehy’s colleagues from the Board of Supervisors. The Examiner and Chronicle also both endorsed Mandelman in a rare crossover of support.