Chinese Americans once were not even allowed to vote in San Francisco, now they have flexed enough muscle to help catapult one of their own into the top spot.
Lee, 59, a long time city bureaucrat, was appointed interim mayor last January after Gavin Newsom became lieutenant governor. Lee promised not to seek the permanent job but changed his mind, becoming the instant front runner.
Lee spent part of this first day as mayor-elect visiting homeless vets at a city-backed program.
His closest competitor was Supervisor John Avalos, whose campaign picked up momentum in the final weeks. In fact, one analyst says Avalos won the Election Day votes at the poll, but not the absentee ballots.
Election results have yet to be certified by the San Francisco Department of Elections, but Lee should be sworn into office in January.