Joel Engardio and husband Lionel Hsu

Gratitude and Hope After the Election Results

I want to thank everyone who was part of my San Francisco supervisor campaign. We won the most first-place votes, but we lost after ranked choice voting was factored in.

The good news is that we can celebrate Joe Biden winning the presidency. Now, we can take a deep breath and think about better days for our nation. While we have many challenges ahead that require fixing and healing, we can be hopeful that solutions are possible.

With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris leading the nation, I believe it will allow us on a local level to feel more at ease and better focus on the daily issues in our streets and neighborhoods. We need to focus because the pandemic has given our city new problems to go with what we already had. That’s why it is important we give Supervisor-elect Myrna Melgar all the support she needs to be successful. I believe San Francisco’s best days are still ahead — if we’re willing to tackle today’s problems with a combination of innovation, common sense, and hope.

I want to thank the more than 1,000 volunteers and donors who made my supervisor campaign possible. Every volunteer played an important role, giving their time and talent to a truly grassroots effort (we didn’t hire a big name political consulting firm). I also want to acknowledge the 16,312 residents who marked my name on their ballot. Thank you for entrusting your vote to our vision of a city that works for everyone.

Despite our local political loss, we can recognize and celebrate the things in our lives we are grateful for. I am blessed to have the love and support of my husband Lionel. Being with Lionel and making banana splits for two is the perfect way to spend this moment. Ice cream is good for all of life’s ups and downs :)

Joel Engardio

P.S. Many people have asked how it was possible to win the most first-place votes and lose the election. Below is an explanation.

Here’s how the first choice votes looked:

Engardio = 9247 (24%)
Nguyen = 8234 (21%)
Melgar = 7850 (20%)
Murase = 4898 (13%)
Martin-Pinto = 4573 (12%)
Matranga = 3395 (8%)
Piper = 961 (2%)

San Francisco uses ranked choice voting when there are multiple candidates and no one gets more than 50 percent of first choice votes. Candidates at the bottom are eliminated and their second choice votes are reallocated to remaining candidates until there are two candidates left.

When Murase was eliminated, Melgar received about 800 more of Murase’s transfer votes than I did. This bumped Melgar into second place over Nguyen. When Nguyen was eliminated, the vast majority of his second choice votes went to Melgar and she was able to leapfrog over me for the final win.

I didn’t get enough transfer of votes from Matranga, Martin-Pinto and Murase to remain in the lead and withstand the combined forces of Nguyen and Melgar.

It is worth noting that the five most moderate candidates captured about 60 percent of first choice votes while the two most progressive candidates won just over 40 percent. But an open seat with multiple candidates and the dynamic of ranked choice voting makes things complicated.

This link to the Department of Elections website has all the vote totals and shows how the ranked choice votes transferred for each candidate. Click “Preliminary Report 10” and then click the PDF for the “D7 Detailed Report.”

Originally published at on November 10, 2020.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store