With a Chinese-American city administrator as the front-runner for interim mayor, San Francisco could become the largest U.S. city led by an Asian-American.
If confirmed next week by the incoming Board of Supervisors, 58-year-old Edwin Lee would be the first Chinese-American mayor in the city's history. Thirty-four percent of the city's 815,000 residents is Asian.
Experts say it would be an important first for San Francisco and the latest sign of the rising prominence of Asian-American politicians nationwide. Jean Quan became the first Asian-American woman to lead a major U.S. city when she was inaugurated mayor of nearby Oakland.
But Asians still hold a disproportionate share of elected positions and represent a smaller slice of the electorate than its population figures indicate.
Community leaders hope that will change as politicians like Lee become role models to the next generation.