SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed appears to be coasting to victory while a proposition to overturn a city ban on e-cigarette sales seems destined for defeat in municipal elections.
Shortly after polls closed Tuesday, Breed was tens of thousands of votes ahead of her five challengers.
Her opponents are little-known and Breed had been expected to handily win her first four-year term.
She’s been in office since winning a special election last year following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee.
Voters are roundly rejecting Proposition C, which was put on the ballot by e-cigarette maker Juul Labs. San Francisco-based Juul dumped $12 million into the campaign before halting financial support two months ago.
San Francisco-based Juul dumped $12 million into the campaign before halting financial support for the proposal in September. Opponents of the measure say its passage would harm efforts to curb youth vaping.
Breed is the first African American woman elected mayor of San Francisco, a politically liberal city of nearly 890,000 grappling with high housing costs, an increase in homelessness and a drug crisis.
The former president of the Board of Supervisors was raised by her grandmother in the city’s public housing and has made equity a priority in a city that has become deeply inequitable. She wants to build housing and provide more shelter and services for people who are homeless, addicted to drugs or have a mental illness.
The mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press before the election that she is frustrated by people who want more housing but don’t want more units in their neighborhood.
“We want more housing, and we know we need more housing,” she said. “We can’t have it both ways.”