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City attorney, treasurer races could sync up with mayor race

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The battles to become city attorney or the treasurer could soon end up on the prime-time election ballot when the mayor’s race is decided instead of going before voters during an off-year.

That’s the idea in two charter amendments proposed for the June ballot. One is part of a larger measure introduced by Supervisor David Campos to preserve ranked-choice voting and the other, introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener, stands on its own.

The reasons provided by both supervisors are the same — cost savings and to put these two elected positions on a ballot with a larger voter turnout. About twice as many people voted in this year’s mayoral race as they did in the 2009 election for city attorney and treasurer.

Wiener said that in addition to costs, he also hears from voters that “we have too many elections.”

It remains unclear how much consolidating the local elections could save. Campos suggested it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Campos said this provision in his proposed charter would “make it easier for voters.”

No one could explain why these local elections were scheduled this way in the first place, but the practice has been ongoing for decades.

In order for the charter amendments to end up on the June ballot, they  would need at least six votes by the Board of Supervisors.  

How it would work is the city attorney and treasurer elected in 2013 would serve a two-year term and then would be up for a four-year term in November 2015, along with mayor, sheriff and district attorney.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com