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Mayoral candidate Steve Francis downplayed the early absentee vote totals that have him down 52 percent to 38 percent.

“This is about what we expected at this point,” Francis told attendees of his downtown rally.

Francis said the absentee votes likely came from voters who decided before his campaign started in full effect. He noted that early deciders missed out on some of his best points. Campaign manager Charles Gallagher said the campaign’s progressive message, boosted by endorsements from labor unions and the local Sierra Club chapter, may not have reached those voters.

Francis emphasized that while he walked to Golden Hall, where he’s now talking to television stations. Talking to a Union-Tribune reporter by phone, Francis again downplayed the totals.

“This isn’t much of an indication yet,” he said. The campaign’s goal is to keep Sanders below 50 percent, “then we get to the general election and we feel very confidant about that.”

Francis ruled out the possibility that he’d get 50 percent of the votes tonight.


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