Michael Nava has pulled ahead of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer in his quest to unseat the incumbent judge, who was appointed last June.
Nava, a gay Latino Supreme Court research attorney who made a campaign pitch for more diversity on the San Francisco bench, has captured nearly 45 percent of the vote to Ulmer's 42 percent. Almost all the votes had been counted.
"We're feeling good about our chances in November," said Ulmer at a quiet gathering at his consultant's office, where a table full of uneaten sandwiches sat in an empty conference room. Judge Ernest Goldsmith had stopped by for support.
Ulmer added that he'd look forward to a two-person race, where he could focus on his 23 years of experience in the courtroom, and Nava's "years of experience out of it."
Nava, a staff attorney for Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, said before election night that he planned to have dinner, watch the TV show Glee, and go to bed, and he wouldn't be available by cell phone.
The third candidate in the race for Ulmer's seat, Dan Dean, gathered at the Irish Bank bar with supporters. Dean, who campaigned on a grassroots, meeting-people-at-BART-stations-and-street corners campaign, said he was disappointed he didn't get more votes, but proud of his campaign. "I don't regret anything I did. I love that I ran, I loved the campaign experience. I'm young, 44, and I have a lot fight left in me."