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    2020 Election Results (so far)

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    Despite getting an extra four days, and clinging to the hope that Joe Biden would win decisively, at the time of the final “drop dead” deadline for this column, we still don’t have a clear-cut presidential winner or a full accounting of the Senate race. Here’s what we did learn: this election was a referendum on the state of our country.

    Somehow approximately half of the voters in this country watched almost 4 years of this crazy freak show and wanted 4 more years of a president abusing his power, inciting violence, and promoting racism and xenophobia. Trump created a cult of disinformation through which rational and factual information cannot penetrate and if he is able to lie, cheat, and steal another election, we will have 4 more years of subservience to dictators and continued severing of long-held alliances with formerly friendly countries. Trump is the worst president in the nation’s history and yet millions of voters support him because I guess racism and white supremacy are a selling point to a large proportion of the population.

    Even with all the drama, outrage, and unprecedented behavior of this president (and the party that follows and enables him), it appears that partisan allegiance takes precedence over the character of the candidate. Democrats need to look at why Trump appeals to certain demographics, for example, capturing so much of the Latino vote, known as culturally conservative, churchgoing, small business owners who may not like seeing kids put in cages, but revere patriotism and do not support illegal immigration.

    Trump can declare he won and try to get his Supreme “kangaroo” Court to stop vote counting, but we don’t live in a dictatorship (yet) and hopefully this country is not ready to subvert the foundation of democracy that calls for fair elections. We need to count all the votes and follow the rules. This country has survived on the norm that democracy is defined as deciding close elections fairly and having the losing side accept the results—but as we learned over the last 4 years, norms and rules don’t apply to this president and only “suckers and losers” follow the rules.

    On the rest of the national stage, it wasn’t a good night for Democrats. While the House majority looks safe, Dems lost some of the gains from 2 years ago and flipping the Senate, which seemed like such a fait accompli, didn’t materialize because, for some candidates, holding on to Trump turned out to be a winning strategy after all.

    If Republicans are in the Senate majority, we’ll have at least 2 more years of Congressional gridlock with Mitch “the grim reaper” McConnell in charge of obstructing anything proposed by a lawmaker with a “D” after their name rather than doing good work for the country. There are 2 types of people who run for office: those who want to “be” something and those who want to “do” something—yeah, we all know who is who.

    The Supreme Court cannot give in and undermine the electoral process by ending the vote counting and hopefully Biden/Harris will win fair and square and banish this miasma of swamp gas and his sycophantic sidekicks to the stinkhole of history where they belong. Political scientists, aka people way smarter than me, have concluded that if Biden wins (G-d willing!), the first 2 years will be light on policy and dedicated to fixing the last 4 years of destruction.

    I guess the “Build Back Better” slogan is a shortened version of: “Build back first, which will take 2 years, and then we can start on the better”—but that wouldn’t fit on a campaign sign, let alone a bumper sticker or button. So, for now, patience is a virtue, both for the time it will take to sort out all the votes, and, if we prevail, the time needed to undo the damage of the current administration. I’d rather be patient with Biden/Harris in office than face 4 more years of “Superspreader Cheeto-in-Chief.”

    Local Results (information available at press time)

    Voter turnout was high in San Francisco, (67% as of press time), probably aided by Governor Newsom’s bill to send a vote-by-mail ballot to every registered voter in CA. The following results are subject to change; any ballot postmarked by Election Day and received within 17 days is eligible to be counted, representing a two-week extension from the prior cutoff.

    U.S Congress

    Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) beat out a Democratic man who was accused of questionable behavior towards women and Jackie Speier (CA-14) beat a Republican. However, unless a miracle happens, the House may be stuck in a Sisyphean nightmare of pushing the same rock uphill against a Senate majority for at least 2 more years.

    State Senate

    Scott Wiener prevailed against a young (25-year-old) “progressive alternative”; he holds a comfortable lead of approximately 60% to 40%.

    State Assembly

    David Chiu in AD 17 and Phil Ting in AD 19 ran virtually unopposed, so no drama there

    Bart Board, Districts 7 and 9

    Lateefah Simon beat out her opponent in District 7 and Bevan Dufty beat a couple of tomato cans.

    Board of Supervisors

    District 1: Marjan Phlhour Well, this one is a nail-biter. Ranked choice voting may or may not be Marjan’s new best friend. After 6 rounds, she was ahead of Connie Chan by 43 votes out of 33,000 or so, but the lead has ping-ponged back and forth—let that be a lesson that every vote counts. I hope the final tally goes in Marjan’s favor. I was proud to profile her in this column two months ago.

    District 3: Aaron Peskin No surprise here. It’s hard to unseat an incumbent and 3-termer.

    District 5: Vallie Brown ran a valiant race, but it appears that incumbent Dean Preston is holding on to his seat.

    District 7: Ranked choice voting giveth and taketh away. Joel Engardio was ahead for 5 rounds, but in the final round, Myrna Melgar vacuumed up enough of Vilaska Nguyen’s votes for the win.

    District 9: Hillary Ronen literally ran unopposed. I live in District 9; I sure hope her office has some good policy planned.

    District 11: Ahsha Safai beat back John Avalos’ “supervisor recycling program” and will be serving for 4 more years; congrats, Ahsha!

    In the Community College race, the two LGBTQ incumbents, Tom Temprano and current Board President Shanell Williams, sailed to victory. Currently in 3rd and 4th places are my gal, Aliya Chisty, whom I profiled in this column last month, (woo-hoo! you go, girl!) and Alan Wong. Depending on the final tally, this could hold or not.

    The Board of Education race was another rollicking free-for-all. Out of the 10 candidates for 4 available seats, incumbents Jenny Lam and Mark Sanchez came in first and second respectively, with newcomers Kevine Boggess and Matt Alexander holding on to third and fourth place. One of my picks, Alida Fisher, is in striking distance of fourth place, so here’s hoping there are enough remaining ballots to move her into the winners’ circle.

    Pundits are telling us to be patient and Joe Biden says to, “Keep the faith, man,” but half of us have to wonder what the other half of the country is voting for. This is not 2016 where whimsical Hillary-hating voters mused, “How bad could this be?” The evidence is in—we know how bad it is. What kind of country do we live in where lying, corruption, incompetence, and more than 230,000 dead seem okay to half the voters? No matter who wins, the hatred and division run deep.

    Louise (Lou) Fischer is a Former Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and has served as an appointed and elected Delegate for the State Democratic Party. She is a proud graduate of the Emerge California Women’s Democratic Leadership program, was a San Francisco Commissioner, and has served in leadership positions in multiple nonprofit and community-based organizations.

    Published on November 5, 2020