The outcomes of some hotly contested races remain in doubt, but election day has come and gone — and our political future looks to be as turbulent as the recent past.
Nationally, we’ll have a more conservative U.S. Senate — the Republicans are on track to hold more than their current 51 of the 100 seats — and a House of Representatives where the Democrats have regained the majority with seats to spare. This means Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco could again be House speaker and be even more of a thorn in the side of President Trump.
But Democrats’ hopes of a blue wave were dashed. Red states keep getting redder; ask outgoing Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, all Democrats.
Within California, by contrast, we’re awash in a sea of blue: Gavin Newsom easily defeated John Cox, who was endorsed by Trump via tweet. Dianne Feinstein will be sworn in for her fifth full term at age 85.
Sign up for Bay Briefing
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to The Chronicle’s Bay Briefing newsletter and get the Bay Area’s best journalism in your inbox every weekday.
No Republican running for statewide office appears likely to log more than 45 percent of the vote. That said, there was at least one surprise in the state ballot measures. Prop. 5, which would have allowed homeowners 55 and older to keep their Prop. 13-level property taxes, lost handily — suggesting that people don’t always vote their pocketbook.
Then there’s San Francisco, where the progressives may win a clear majority on the Board of Supervisors — though what passes as “moderate” here would be classified as wild-eyed liberal in much of the nation. Prop. C, which would boost two business taxes to double the funding for homeless service, took 60 percent of the vote. And if you’re a fan of the ever-picturesque Embarcadero, you are not alone — more than three-quarters of the electorate supported a $425 million bond to begin a seismic upgrade.
This barely skims the surface of a night where, I would guess, everyone who cares about the current state of affairs found much to love and much to loathe. The full results await you here.
Top of the News
•Reconstructing a tragedy: The Afghanistan War veteran who killed three female staff members in March at a rehabilitation center in Yountville “acted quickly and deliberately,” according to a report released Tuesday by the California Highway Patrol. The report says he entered through a loading dock with two weapons, while wearing safety glasses and ear protection.
•Tragedy avoided: A lengthy standoff ended in Antioch early Tuesday when a 32-year-old man surrendered to police — five hours after he shot an officer in the head with a pellet gun and then barricaded himself in his parents’ house. Fortunately, the officer sustained only minor injuries.
•Another try: San Francisco’s Fillmore never recovered from the “urban renewal” that cleared entire blocks in the 1960s. The latest effort to bolster the district’s African American culture is at the Fillmore Heritage Center, which reopened Monday on a trial basis as a venue for live music and community events. The center, which featured Yoshi’s jazz club from 2007 until 2014, has been vacant for several years.
•Boys to men?: One Prop C. takeaway, says Owen Thomas in our Tech Chronicle, is that the city’s tech titans don’t understand how to be civic leaders. Marc Benioff of Salesforce “has proven himself too combative,” Thomas argues, while Prop. C. foes like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Stripe CEO Patrick Collison “have shown themselves to be ludicrously tone-deaf.”
•Moving on up: The Giants have a new head of baseball operations: Farhan Zaidi, formerly with the Dodgers’ organization. Let’s hope he doesn’t try to trade Madison Bumgarner, the unquestioned ace of the team’s pitching staff despite two troubled seasons. “He will be fiercely motivated to get back in the All-Star conversation,” Sports columnist Bruce Jenkins correctly points out, and why are we even having this conversation?
•Slam dunks: The Warriors’ championship run isn’t just because stars like Kevin Durant want to be in Oakland; the team also has a knack for spotting squandered talents elsewhere. Case in point: Alfonzo McKinnie, a little-known forward who’s having a breakout year — and who the Dubs have been eyeing since 2014, reports Connor Letourneau.
•Spoiler alert: The Bay Area’s two NFL teams are sorry sights, our beat writers conclude in their mid-season surveys. Matt Kawahara finds almost nothing good to say about the 1-7 Raiders. Eric Branch suggests the 2-7 49ers would be better if charismatic QB Jimmy Garoppolo was on the field — but not by much.
•Beans a’plenty: The days when Blue Bottle was that cool little find on Linden Alley are long gone. Purchased last year by Nestlé, Blue Bottle announced Tuesday it will open an outpost next year in South Korea — adding to 56 in the U.S. and 10 in Japan.
•Edenic interlude: For a mental detox after this bilious election season, visit the Fraenkel Gallery near Union Square. You’ll find a 25-square-foot photograph by Richard Learoyd of Yosemite Valley on display — a black-and-white image so vast, reports art critic Charles Desmarais, that it “draws the viewer ever closer, gorging on detail, mapping trails and climbs possible only in the hiker’s eye.”
It started in November 1968 with the suspension of an instructor who urged black students to bring guns to campus, and reached such a fever pitch that then-Gov. Ronald Reagan called on campus security to be imposed “at the point of a bayonet if necessary.” If you’re unfamiliar with the combustive student strike at what now is San Francisco State University, here’s the place to start, with Chronicle librarian Bill Van Niekerken’s fascinating account and dozens of photos from our archives. The 134-day strike ended with the creation of a school for ethnic studies. It also made a conservative folk hero of college president S.I. Hayakawa, who in 1976 was elected by Californians to the U.S. Senate.