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33 Votes Separate Candidates In San Francisco Supes Race

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The race for San Francisco's District 7 supervisor seat remains historically close, with board of education President Norman Yee holding a 33-vote lead over F.X. Crowley after the latest vote totals were released Monday.

Only 89 votes were counted Monday and about 1,400 remain outstanding in the race between Yee and Crowley, a former member of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and San Francisco Port Commission.

Yee currently stands at 11,984 votes after six rounds of ranked-choice voting in the nine-candidate race, while Crowley has 11,951 as of Monday. Michael Garcia, who was endorsed by termed-out Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, finished in third.

The winner will represent the district in the southwest part of the city that includes the neighborhoods of West Portal and Park Merced as well as the areas near Lake Merced, San Francisco State University and west of Twin Peaks.

Department of Elections director John Arntz said Monday that determining who won could take all the way up to Dec. 4, the deadline to certify the results, and that the department will begin refocusing on other races around the city starting Tuesday.

"I understand there's a lot of anxiety for both campaigns" but by focusing primarily on District 7, "we're really slowing ourselves down," Arntz said.

He said the supervisor race was the first he was aware of in San Francisco in which the margin has been within 100 votes at this point in the count.

The initial results on Election Day last week had Crowley holding a narrow lead, but Yee edged ahead over the weekend as provisional ballots began to be counted.

Yee was on hand Monday afternoon as the latest results were announced. He said he was heartened that his lead widened, even if it was only by 12 votes compared to Sunday's total, but that he and his family are patiently waiting for all ballots to be counted.

"We'd love to have the end result but we have to play it out," he said.

He noted that he was more than 1,300 first-place votes ahead of Crowley, who made up the difference by getting more second- and third-place votes on other ballots.

Alex Tourk, a political consultant for Crowley, said their campaign was not discouraged by Monday's numbers.

"It has moved so much in the past week," Tourk said.

The next round of results will be announced at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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