The 2003 San Francisco mayoral election occurred on November 4, 2003. The incumbent, Willie Brown, was termed out of office and could not seek a third term. The general election included three top candidates including then Supervisor Gavin Newsom and then President of the Board of Supervisors, Matt Gonzalez and former Supervisor Angela Alioto. No candidate received the required majority so the race went into a run-off of the two top candidates, which were Gavin Newsom and Matt Gonzalez. The run-off occurred on December 9, 2003 where Gavin Newsom was elected mayor of San Francisco.
Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan, though most candidates in San Francisco do receive funding and support from various political parties.
Newsom ran as a moderate against leftist/progressive Gonzalez, a member of the Green Party. It was the first mayoral election in San Francisco that a Green Party candidate took a noticeable amount of the vote. The election was close, with Gonzalez leading in the polls and winning the popular vote among ballots cast on election day, while Newsom had a larger lead on absentee ballots.