2003 San Francisco mayoral election

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2003 San Francisco mayoral election

← 1999 November 4, 2003 (jungle primary)
December 9, 2003 (runoff)
2007 →
  GAVIN Newsom talking to the media about "Care Not Cash" program," 2003.jpg Matt Gonzales, San Francisco Supervisor, 2003 (a).jpg Angela Alioto 5-26-18 (1).jpg
Candidate Gavin Newsom Matt Gonzalez Angela Alioto
Party Democratic Green Democratic
First round vote 87,196 40,714 33,446
First round percentage 41.92% 19.57% 16.08%
Runoff vote 133,546 119,329
Runoff percentage 52.81% 47.19%

  TOM AMMIANO (1).jpg SF City Treasurer Susal Leal.jpg
Candidate Tom Ammiano Susan Leal
Party Democratic Democratic
First round vote 21,452 17,641
First round percentage 10.31% 8.48%

Runoff electoral results by supervisorial district

Mayor before election

Willie Brown

Elected Mayor

Gavin Newsom

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.

In 2003, then-supervisor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ran in a large field of challengers, including Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, Supervisor Tom Ammiano, former supervisor Angela Alioto, city treasurer Susan Leal, and former police chief Tony Ribera. Newsom and Gonzalez took first and second place, respectively, but neither won a majority, so the two advanced to a runoff election. Third party advocates saw it as a chance to dethrone the Democratic Party.[1]

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.[citation needed]


San Francisco mayoral election, 2003[2][3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gavin Newsom 87,196 41.92
Green Matt Gonzalez 40,714 19.57
Democratic Angela Alioto 33,446 16.08
Democratic Tom Ammiano 21,452 10.31
Democratic Susan Leal 17,641 8.48
Republican Tony Ribera 5,015 2.41
Libertarian Michael F. Denny 925 0.44
Independent Roger E. Schulke 735 0.36
Independent Jim Reid 733 0.35
Write-in 131 0.06
Total votes 208,028 100.00
Runoff election
Democratic Gavin Newsom 133,546 52.81
Green Matt Gonzalez 119,329 47.19
Total votes 252,875 100.00


  1. ^ http://www.counterpunch.org/anderson12062003.html
  2. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Consolidated Municipal Election Results - November 4, 2003". City and County of San Francisco Department of Elections. November 14, 2003. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  3. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Municipal Run-Off Election Results - December 9, 2003". City and County of San Francisco Department of Elections. December 15, 2003. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009.