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Politics & Policy

Leanna Louie’s last-ditch effort to remain on the ballot fails

Leanna Louie speaks during a rally advocating Lowell High School use a merit based admission system outside the San Francisco Unified School District building in San Francisco Calif., on Thursday, June 16, 2022. | Benjamin Fanjoy for The Standard

Leanna Louie’s political aspirations in November are officially over, after a San Francisco judge tossed her lawsuit against the city on Wednesday morning.

The supervisor race in District 4—which encompasses the Outer Sunset as well as the Parkside and Lakeshore neighborhoods—will now have only two candidates, incumbent Gordon Mar and public safety advocate Joel Engardio.

Louie and her lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Department of Elections struck Louie from the November ballot after the City Attorney’s Office determined that she could not prove residency at a District 4 address in an Aug. 26 report.

Last week, Louie’s legal team filed a writ of mandate at SF Superior Court demanding that the city reverse its decision, alleging that the city violated procedure by failing to challenge Louie’s qualifications by a June 27 deadline. Louie and her attorneys also claimed that the move to strike her from the ballot shut out the district’s monolingual Chinese-speaking community.

But the judge upheld the city’s decision, agreeing that Louie could not prove that she had actually established a domicile in District 4.

In the City Attorney’s investigation, Louie admitted to sleeping in three other San Francisco homes outside District 4 on a regular basis. She was thus unable to prove she had established true residency in District 4, even though she has been renting a room there for $500 a month since March 1. Election law requires candidates to establish residency a month before declaring candidacy.

In addition to the residency issue, Louie also came under fire recently for implying veteran Jewish journalist Joe Eskenazi, who penned the article questioning her residency, was a Nazi in social media posts that played on his last name. 

After a court hearing yesterday in San Francisco, Louie told a group of reporters that she felt at “peace,” and vowed to continue her community organizing, which has involved patrolling Chinatown to protect business owners from theft.

“Whatever happens, we are not gonna stop working to help the community,” she said.