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Breed joins Leno’s call to remove ‘acting mayor’ from her title on ballot

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(Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner; Courtesy Photo)

London Breed and The City of San Francisco on Monday joined in Mark Leno’s call to remove the title “acting mayor” from Breed’s name on the thousands of ballots that will go before voters for the June election.

Breed and Department of Elections Director John Arntz signed on to a stipulation in a lawsuit filed by Leno seeking to drop the “acting mayor” title next to Breed’s name on the ballot. The stipulation will go before San Francisco Superior Court for approval Tuesday.

By joining in the stipulation, Breed effectively agreed not to fight Leno’s legal effort.

Breed, the Board of Supervisors president and mayoral candidate, was set to be listed with the “acting mayor” title next to her name on ballots because she filed campaign paperwork while she was still acting mayor of San Francisco, following the death of Mayor Ed Lee on Dec. 12.

Although she was removed from the position by a Board of Supervisors vote on Jan. 23 she legally retained the title on ballot materials, which Leno sought to change by filing a writ against The City Feb. 27.

The City Attorney’s Office said previously that Arntz does not have the legal ability to remove the title without a court order.

Those ballot materials were set to go to the printer “on or about” April 2, according to the stipulation. Due to the short time frame, Leno sought an expedited process by the court.

Although Breed has effectively conceded the fight over her title, she hasn’t agreed the use of her title would be illegal.

The stipulation she signed onto Monday specifies that Breed “maintains that her ballot designation ‘Acting Mayor/Supervisor’ and occupational designation ‘Acting Mayor, San Francisco’ remain valid pursuant to the Elections Code and applicable Secretary of State regulations.”

Breed’s campaign spokesperson Tara Moriarty wrote in a statement, “London Breed was acting mayor when she filed her papers; she is President of the Board of Supervisors. We’ve always stated that we are fine with changing the ballot title to President of the Board of Supervisors. Let’s get back to the real issues facing the city.”

Leno campaign spokesperson Jim Stearns said he was glad Breed had “withdrawn her attempt to deceive voters using the ballot.”

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