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John Avalos concedes SF mayoral race to Ed Lee

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Supervisor John Avalos became the best anti-Lee candidate in the race, outlasting all others in the crowded race who failed to distinguish themselves. But in the end, Lee proved untouchable and on Friday Avalos conceded.

Avalos had postponed conceding until all the ballots were counted, which took all week.

“We are very proud to have made a strong showing for second, and are incredibly proud to have run a clean, issue-based campaign, powered by our dedicated volunteers,” Avalos said in the statement. “We defied expectations, and to have come this far is a testament to the sacrifices, determination and imagination of our supporters.”

Avalos decided to run for mayor back in April, capitalizing on increased name recognition from his introduction and the passage of a local-hire law.

Avalos energized a base of supporters. His orange-and-black campaign signs were often spotted on bicycle wheels riding around town during the past several months.

He served as the symbol of the progressive movement, which had suffered several setbacks heading into the mayor’s race.

“We are thrilled that bold ideas that put people first are now household issues here in the City, like creating a municipal bank, or balancing the budget not through cuts to the needy but by taxing the wealthiest among us,” Avalos said.

Lee, who declared victory Wednesday, received 56,710 of voters first choice votes, about 31 percent of the voter turnout, and Avalos received 34,072, about 19 percent, according to the Department of Elections Friday tally released at 4pm. After ranked choice was calculated, Lee won with 80,086 votes, or 60 percent, over Avalos’ 52,465, or 39 percent.

Avalos became a member of City Hall in 2005 by working as a legislative aide for former Supervisor Chris Daly. Avalos shared the ideals of Daly but was seen as more measured. In November 2008, Avalos went on to win the District 11 election to represent the Excelsior neighborhood on the board. He served as chair of the board’s most powerful committee, budget and finance for two years.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

The full statement from Avalos:

“I want to offer my congratulations to Ed Lee on his election and my congratulations to the other candidates on their campaigns.”

"We are very proud to have made a strong showing for second, and are incredibly proud to have run a clean, issue-based campaign, powered by our dedicated volunteers. We defied expectations, and to have come this far is a testament to the sacrifices, determination and imagination of our supporters.”

“But we are equally proud of the fact that we were able to change the debate, to make sure that the issues that matter to the everyday people in this City are now on the table and are getting the attention they deserve. We are thrilled that bold ideas that put people first are now household issues here in the City, like creating a municipal bank, or balancing the budget not through cuts to the needy but by taxing the wealthiest among us.”

“This campaign was about building unity and connections within the community of people who have been left out of the political process. We have been proud and inspired to see people from the Tenants Union working side-by-side with people from the Bike Coalition, to see members of DogPAC working with community members from the BayView. We are looking forward to seeing the results of these new relationships play out in upcoming policy battles on the Board of Supervisors, during next fall’s elections, and beyond.”

“I am sincerely grateful to all of my supporters who gave time and money, who threw parties and lent us their talents and genius. Our hearts were warmed, and we will never forget their generosity.”