London Breed, the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, will be the city's next mayor after eight days of ballot-counting all but eliminated rival candidate Mark Leno, who conceded the race Wednesday afternoon. As of Wednesday, Breed led Leno by 2,177 votes with only about 6,700 left to count. Breed, 43, will become San Francisco's first black female mayor and the city's second female mayor, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); San Francisco will become the largest U.S. city currently led by a woman. Leno would have been San Francisco's first openly gay mayor. All three frontrunners were Democrats.
Breed briefly took over as mayor when Mayor Ed Lee (D) died of a heart attack in December, but a month later, her board colleagues gave the job instead to interim Mayor Mark Farrell. On Wednesday, Farrell offered his "sincere congratulations to Mayor-elect London Breed on her election victory." Breed, who was raised in San Francisco public housing by her grandmother, said "the message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city is that no matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do."
Breed will serve out the remainder of Lee's term, until 2020, and face the voters again in 2019. You can learn more about Breed and her victory in the San Francisco Chronicle podcast below. Peter Weber
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) will not exactly be writing his own version of What Happened following his bruising loss to Katie Arrington in South Carolina's GOP primary on Tuesday. Sanford told The Washington Post that he blames a tweet by President Trump for his losing re-election bid. Other Republicans running for office "don't want the tweet I got last night," said Sanford, who has long been an outspoken critic of the president.
Just three hours before the polls closed in South Carolina, Trump tweeted: "Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina." Sanford, whose 2009 extramarital affair with a woman in Buenos Aires nearly tanked his political career, had never before lost an election until conceding to Arrington on Tuesday.
Sanford won his last re-election, in 2016, with a 22-point victory, although he sensed that he was going to lose before the race was called Tuesday night. "The idea of some allegiance not to the Constitution, but to the president, was not what I signed up for," Sanford told the Post. Jeva Lange
Nevada's "most famous pimp" and the self-proclaimed "Trump of Pahrump" has won the Republican primary for the state Legislature, defeating James Oscarson, a hospital executive who as held office for three terms, The Associated Press reports.
Dennis Hof, the star of the long-running HBO documentary series Cathouse, owns half a dozen brothels in Nevada. He held a rally with President Trump's close friend, Roger Stone, in April. "It's all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me," explained Hof, who has written a book called The Art of the Pimp. "He found the way and I jumped on it."
Hof, who previously endorsed Hillary Clinton with his "Hookers for Hillary" campaign, is a controversial figure in Nevada. "He was an embarrassment before he ran for office," voter Brett Chunley told the Los Angeles Times. "He's even more of one now." Sean Hunt, who voted for Hof, said he "did it to piss people off. It's the same reason I voted for Trump. I knew it would drive liberals crazy."
In November, Hof will face Democrat Lesia Romanov. He is favored to win the Republican-leaning district. Jeva Lange
When tax lawyer Archie Parnell came within 3 percentage points of winning a special House election in South Carolina's 5th congressional district last year, Democrats entertained serious hopes of picking up the seat in November, in a rematch of Parnell against Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.). Then last month, reporters obtained Parnell's 1974 divorce records and discovered that he had assaulted his ex-wife and threatened her with a metal bar. National and state Democrats disavowed him and wrote off the race, and his entire staff quit, urging Parnell to do the same. He didn't, and he won Tuesday's primary.
"Tonight, the people sent a clear message to everyone," Parnell said in a statement Tuesday night. "You don't have to be defined by your worst mistake. You don't have to be cast aside. You are not alone. You can be better. And, together, we can be better." Analysts attribute his victory to greater name recognition than his three Democratic opponents, one of whom is a literal clown, and lack of a credible challenger. He is expected to lose in November. Peter Weber
Wisconsin Democrats poach state Senate seat in district Trump won by 17 points, in 43rd flip of the Trump era
Democrats successfully took Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) to court when, openly fretting about a "blue wave," he refused to call special elections to fill two state legislative seats. On Tuesday, Democrats won one of the seats while Republicans held on to the other one. Both districts in northwestern Wisconsin had gone heavily for President Trump in 2016, but in the 1st senate district — which voted for Trump by 17 points — Democratic businessman Caleb Frostman beat GOP state Rep. André Jacque. This was the 43rd GOP-held state legislative seat Democrats have flipped since Trump was inaugurated — Republicans have flipped seven seats — and state Democratic Party chairwoman Martha Laning celebrated the district's "21-point swing from Trump's 2016 performance."
In the other race, in the 42nd assembly district, Republican Jon Plumer appears to have defeated Democrat Ann Groves. Republicans now have an 18-15 advantage in the state Senate. Democrats are hoping to unseat Walker in November while Republicans are trying to beat Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). Peter Weber
Nevada Democrats pick Rep. Jacky Rosen to challenge Sen. Dean Heller, both parties pick governor nominees
Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) easily won Tuesday's Democratic primary in Nevada to face Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), the only incumbent senator up for re-election this year in a state won by Hillary Clinton. Nevada Democrats also picked Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisolak over fellow commissioner Christina Giunchigliani for their gubernatorial candidate, while Republicans chose Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the son of former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and grandson of Paul Laxalt, a former Nevada governor and U.S. senator.
Heller's primary victory was assured after President Trump urged GOP activist Danny Tarkanian to quit the race. Tarkanian instead won the GOP primary for Nevada's competitive 3rd congressional district — which Rosen is leaving to run for Senate — and he will face Democratic philanthropist Susie Lee. In the 4th congressional district, Nevada's other swing district, Democrats chose former Rep. Steven Horsford, while Republicans chose former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R). In the 2nd congressional district, Rep. Mark Amodei (R) fended off a challenge from conservative activist Sharron Angle. Peter Weber
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) has lost a political race for the first time, all but conceding Tuesday's Republican primary to challenger Katie Arrington, a state legislator President Trump had endorsed in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. Even before The Associated Press projected that Arrington would win outright, Sanford told supporters Tuesday night, "I think that I'll end up losing this election." Sanford would be the second GOP incumbent unseated in primaries this year, after Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.).
— Caitlin Byrd (@MaryCaitlinByrd) June 13, 2018
Sanford, a fiscal conservative and member of the House Freedom Caucus first elected to Congress in 1994, also served two terms as governor, though he admitted in 2009 to secretly traveling to Argentina for an extramarital affair — a scandal Trump alluded to in his tweet: "Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina." Arrington will face Democrat Joe Cunningham, a lawyer and political novice, in a district Trump won in 2016 with 53.5 percent of the vote.
Trump's tweet did not push South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) over the finish line. He got less than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary and will face Greenville businessman John Warren in a June 26 runoff election. Peter Weber
Conservative provocateur Corey Stewart beat Virginia state House Del. Nick Freitas and minister E.W. Jackson in Tuesday's Virginia Republican primary and will face Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in the fall. Stewart came close to beating former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie in the 2017 Virginia GOP gubernatorial primary, buoyed by his vocal support for Confederate monuments and the Confederate battle flag. He was also state chairman of Donald Trump's campaign before being fired for protesting against the RNC.
State and national Republicans expressed concern at Stewart's victory, suggesting it could endanger GOP candidates down ballot — at least three Republican House members are in competitive races this year in Virginia, including Reps. Barbara Comstock, Scott Taylor, and Dave Brat. The National Republican Senatorial Committee did not immediately say it will support Stewart, who has a much smaller war chest than Kaine. Stewart immediately promised a "vicious" campaign against Kaine, while Kaine's spokesman hit back, calling Stewart "a cruder imitation of Donald Trump who stokes white supremacy and brags about being 'ruthless and vicious.'"
"I am extremely disappointed that a candidate like Corey Stewart could win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate," former Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) tweeted. GOP strategist Brian Walsh added: "Can we just skip past the part where the media focuses on all the idiotic, racist & embarrassing things Corey Stewart will say & do the next five months and just acknowledge Tim Kaine won his re-election tonight. And he has Stewart voters to thank for it." Peter Weber