World

S.F. sheriff caught up in 'sanctuary cities' controversy loses re-election bid

In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, photo, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi answers questions during an interview in San Francisco. Only two incumbent San Francisco sheriffs have lost re-election in the last 60 years and Ross Mirkarimi is facing a tough battle on Nov. 3 to avoid being the third. Thrust into the middle of the national immigration debate this summer, Mirkarimi is being outspent by an opponent garnering key endorsements and who seeks to capitalize on the incumbentâs problems during his first four years in office. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, photo, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi answers questions during an interview in San Francisco. Only two incumbent San Francisco sheriffs have lost re-election in the last 60 years and Ross Mirkarimi is facing a tough battle on Nov. 3 to avoid being the third. Thrust into the middle of the national immigration debate this summer, Mirkarimi is being outspent by an opponent garnering key endorsements and who seeks to capitalize on the incumbent√Ęs problems during his first four years in office. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A San Francisco sheriff caught up in a national debate on immigration reform has lost his bid for re-election by a wide-margin.

Partial returns from Tuesday's vote show Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi losing to retired sheriff's official Vicki Hennessy. She has the backing of Mayor Ed Lee and the deputies association.

With more than 90,000 votes counted, Hennessy had 62 percent compared to just 31 percent for Mirkarimi.

The San Francisco sheriff's office has been in the spotlight since a Mexican national in the country illegally was charged in the fatal shooting of a San Francisco woman this summer.

Prior to the shooting, the man was released from Mirkarimi's jail even though federal officials had requested that he be detained.

Mirkarimi vigorously defended the city's sanctuary policies, which generally prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with immigration officials.

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