Ed Lee for Mayor


Dominance in San Francisco's first ever ranked-choice election.

Ed Lee Gets It Done

In 2011, Bearstar was the general and media consultant for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Combining a warm, self-effacing style and a stellar eight-month record as interim mayor, Lee ran on the simple winning message, “Ed Lee Gets It Done.”

Lee won over sixty percent of the vote in San Francisco’s first ranked-choice election in which voters could choose up to three candidates. In the game theory of a ranked choice vote, the field tends to unite against the frontrunner, and Lee fended off a barrage of direct and independent expenditure attacks. He prevailed by playing skillful defense and offering a concrete jobs plan.

In the television campaign, Bearstar introduced Lee with the 2-minute “Gets It Done” spot, then ran largely behind a positive jobs message with “Streets of San Francisco” (which earned a Pollie Award as the nation’s best Mayoral ad), and fought the contrastive battle with “Attacking Problems, Not People,” which highlighted the other candidates’ use of taxpayer dollars to air negative ads, a version of which ran in Cantonese.

Ed Lee Gets It Done
Ed Lee: Streets of San Francisco
Ed Lee: Attacking Problems, Not People