Developers looking to build high-end luxury condos on the waterfront lost big last night.
Proposition B, backed by a campaign committee known as No Wall on the Waterfront , won handily with a 19 percentage point lead at the polls.
At the Yes on B campaign party at Sinbad's, former Mayor Art Agnos described the outcome as a win for the people of San Francisco.
"I think this vote is a decisive vote," Agnos said, "that sends a message to City Hall that people in San Francisco want to protect the waterfront.
The ballot measure will require voter approval for waterfront development projects that exceed established building height limits.
Most political experts predicted last night's June primary election would result in record-low turnouts, since Governor Jerry Brown's expected win meant no big-ticket votes on the ballot. The prediction was correct. All told, 22 percent of San Francisco registered voters cast ballots in the June 3 election. And though some provisional ballots and mail-in ballots will be counted over the next few days, the initial counts have Yes on B miles ahead.
At Oddjob, a SoMa cocktail bar, opponents of Prop B backers were in a grim mood on election night.
Patrick Valentino, a No on B spokesperson, said his camp had a "more complex message" to convey. He felt their thesis, arguing luxury condos take pressure off the housing market, wasn't heard by voters.
Meanwhile, in the Assembly race for soon-to-be termed out Tom Ammiano's seat, Board President David Chiu and Sup. David Campos emerged as the first- and second-place primary winners, respectively, setting them up to face off against one another in November as expected.
Chiu prevailed, with 48 percent to Campos' 43 percent, a five percentage point lead. But from the start of the night to the end, Campos was able to close a gap that was initially larger, setting the stage for a close race in November
At his celebration, Chiu told supporters: "It feels good." When early polling results showed Chiu much farther ahead, a finance staffer told the Guardian, "We're surprised by the gap, we expected to be up, but not by this much."
David's father, Han Chiu, said "we are so proud.
But as more results came in, Campos was able to narrow the gap, finally trailing by a margin of about 3,000 votes.
Campos adressed his supporters at Virgil's Sea Room, and as the crowd whooped and hollered, he took note of a few milestones.
Firstly, few progressive campaigns for Assembly had ever raised as much money as his had, which he thanked his staffers for.
And the numbers should make Chiu nervous, Campos said, because fewer voters turn out to the polls in the primaries.
"We've been very clear," he boomed to the bustling crowd. "If Chiu doesn't win by double digits [in June], we win in November."
Reed Nelson contributed to this report.
Primaries 2014