SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Gordon Mar, who represented San Francisco’s Outer Sunset on the city’s board of supervisors, lost his bid for re-election, conceding to challenger Joel Engardio on Wednesday after a close race.
“It’s increasingly unlikely that there are enough votes to change the outcome of our race, and a few minutes ago, I called Joel Engardio to concede and offer my congratulations,” Mar stated via Twitter. “He worked hard on his campaign, and I hope he works just as hard on behalf of District 4.”
The margin between the two candidates was just 489 out of tens of thousands cast, for a 51-49% result.
Mar, who has represented District 4 since 2019 and whose brother was a supervisor for the neighboring Richmond neighborhood from 2009 to 2017, was elected before his district became a hotbed of frustration at San Francisco’s city leadership over crime, homelessness, open drug scenes, education, race and street closures.
While he cast his defeat as a result of redistricting, Mar acknowledged that “I understand that many viewed it [the election] as a referendum on city government, and voted for change.”
Mar had opposed the recalls of three school board members (though he asked one of the recalled school board members, Alison Collins, to resign, after comments she made criticizing Asian American parents and students came to light) and District Attorney Chesa Boudin, which were heavily supported in his district.
Mar told KRON4 News in a pre-election interview that his position on those issues wasn’t as important as his track record as a supervisor, during which time he helped create the Sunset Chinese Cultural District, fought to fund the climate action plan and joined the San Francisco Police Department and several community groups in forming the Sunset Safety Network as a response to crime and harassment, particularly of Asian Americans.
“I think voters in District 4 are going to be more focused on my track record as District 4 supervisor,” Mar said. “I was honored to be selected by District 4 voters four years ago to represent the Outer Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods by a fairly wide margin and despite the challenges of the past several years, I’m proud of what I’ve been able to achieve on keeping neighborhoods safe.”
Mar will be replaced by Engardio, a former San Francisco Democratic Party Central Committee member and journalist who will be the first LGBTQ person to represent the city’s westside on the board.
Engardio was a key figure in the school board recall and helped found Stop Crime SF, which sought to balance criminal justice reform with victims’ rights.
“I am running for supervisor because we need to create our best San Francisco,” Engardio told KRON4 News in a pre-election interview. “A lot of things don’t work in our city and we want to live in a city that works. We need to change direction.”
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“We won,” Engardio posted to Facebook yesterday. “Movements happen one step, one door knock, one conversation at a time. Until it’s thousands. That’s why I knocked on 14,000 doors in the movement to create our best San Francisco. It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to lead the next steps as a newly elected city supervisor. … Defenders of the status quo tried to dismiss my campaign, but they missed the bigger picture. We created a movement of thousands of ordinary residents that can’t be dismissed.”
Engardio had run unsuccessfully in the past in District 7 (West Portal-Parkmerced), but due to re-districting he has lived in District 4 since earlier this year.