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San Francisco voters respond to call for experience

Fiona Ma, Lillian Sing win easily

California 12th District Assemblywoman nominee Fiona Ma enters victory celebration telling 400 supporters that voters chose “experience and a track record."
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy and Luke Thomas

June 7, 2006

Jubilant victory cheers pocketed a quiet City last night that seemed oblivious to the primary election.

Only 27.85% of eligible San Franciscans bothered to vote, according to unofficial results with 100% of precincts counted. Absentee and provisional ballots yet to be tallied could change the percentage slightly.

City Hall awaits first elections results - and a crowd.

Clear winners included candidates who made "experience" their campaign theme.

In the non-partisan race for State Supervisor Court Seat 8, Former Judge Lillian Sing was nominated to Seat 8 of the State Superior Court over challenger Eric Safire with nearly a 36% lead.

Democrats chose veteran Supervisor Fiona Ma over elective office newcomer Janet Reilly by close to a 19% edge.

Leland Yee, a two-term assemblymember from California Assembly District 12, took 65% the Democratic Party faithful over former office holders Mike Nevin and Lou Papan. Nevin garnered 29% voter share compared to 5% for Papan.

Running unopposed, Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno was nominated to re-election by 98.5.

Voters stuck a moderate path in City propositions.

As San Francisco focuses on street crime and police reform, Proposition A was headed toward narrow defeat by some 1,000 votes or 1%. The measure would have created a $10 million homicide prevention fund.

Proposition B, a ballot proposal to tighten eviction disclosure by property owners to potential buyers, was winning by 5.4%. Renters in San Francisco outnumber owners by approximately 70%.

Proposition C would have required the mayor to sit on the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, but was defeated by a margin of 43%.

Voters sidestepped opening Laguna Honda Hospital publicly owned land to private developers. Proposition D, spearheaded by the Residential Builders Associated, was defeated by a margin of 46%.

Some 400 supporters celebrated Ma's victory at the Irish Cultural Center.

Former State Senator John Burton passes on bouquet to Ma offered up from the audience by a supporter. Burton gave Ma her first entry into the elective office arena
by hiring Ma as Burton's legislative aide.

"It was about experience," Ma told the Sentinel of voter choice.

"It was about having a track record. I've worked with probably every single person over the past ten years here in this room.

"It's about doing what's right for the people."

William Ma, father of the nominee seen at left, shares victory joy.

Blunt talking John Burton noted Ma missed picking up one of Burton's signature traits.

"Some ten years ago she came into my office and asked for a job," recalled Burton.

"And I asked, 'Why would you want to work for me?'

"She said, 'Somebody she wanted to run for office' and thought she could learn something which she didn't learn because she never swears."

Burton was pleased with his applicant selection.

"I could not be happier than if she were my own daughter," Burton continued.

"We are going to be so very proud of her in Sacramento.

"As I look out into this group of people that helped elect her and the people behind her, it just tells you why she won. People believed in her, knew she was the best candidate, and knew she would be great in the state legislature."

Ma claimed victory with campaign volunteers at her side.

"This is my Ma Squad," beamed the candidate.

"I know that I would not be standing here today without each and everyone of you here in this room and beyond.

"I know I've got the best consultants, the best pollsters, the best mentors, the best donors, volunteers, family, friends, and boyfriend... and I just thank all of you for allowing my dream to come true and allowing me to do something that I love every day.

"We all know that we have a lot of problems at the state level.

"We need to work on a public education system that pays our teachers better.

"We need to make sure that every Californian has access to at least basic health insurance - that health insurance companies cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

"We need to bring jobs and businesses back to California.

"And we have to make sure that people can afford housing. I don't know how many people can afford a $700,000 starter home in this economy. We need to bring incentives for homeownership opportunities, first-time home buyers programs, down payment assistance, and make sure that developers are creating affordable housing for all of us, our families and the next generation."




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