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Supervisor Mark Farrell announces he will not run for SF mayor

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Supervisor Mark Farrell announces a first-of-its-kind citywide workforce policy on the front steps of City Hall in San Francisco, Calif., Feb 28, 2017. Farrell announced Thursday that he is not running for mayor of San Francisco in the upcoming June 2018 election. (James Chan/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Supervisor Mark Farrell, who was among the rumored mayoral candidates, announced Thursday he will not run to become San Francisco’s next mayor.

Farrell, who is leading a city-wide fiber-to-the-premises broadband network, was largely seen as contender in the regularly scheduled November 2019 mayor’s race. But with the unexpected death of Mayor Ed Lee on Dec. 12, the next mayor election will take place on June 5.

“Over the last few days, many of you reached out to urge me to run for mayor,” Farrell said in an email sent to his supporters Thursday morning. “It means the world to me to have so many people in my corner. But I wanted to let you know today that I have decided not to run.”

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He continued, “My top priority is my family. My wife, Liz, and our three children, Madison (12), Jack (10), and Kane (5), are everything to me. The timing is simply not right for our family, and I will always put them first.”

The field of candidates is becoming more clear. Last week, former state Sen. Mark Leno indicated he will run for mayor in June, and this week Supervisor Jane Kim and former member of the Board of Supervisors Angela Alioto did as well. Other lesser known candidates have also indicated they will run, bringing the potential candidate pool to a total of 10. The deadline to file for the contest is Jan. 9, at 5 p.m.

With Lee’s death, Board of Supervisors President London Breed became acting mayor under The City’s charter. She continues to serve as board president and it is widely thought she will also file to seek the higher office.

Prior to the June election, the board could vote to name Breed or someone else as the interim mayor, or take no action and leave Breed serving the dual roles. The first scheduled board meeting when the vote on interim mayor could occur is Jan. 9.

Farrell is termed out of office in January 2019. He was first elected in November 2010 to serve as the District 2 member of the board, representing the Marina and Pacific Heights neighborhoods, and was re-elected in 2014.

In his letter to supporters, Farrell also highlighted the issues he would focus on in his remaining time in office.

“My full focus and attention for the remainder of my term will be on addressing the quality of life issues that matter most to San Franciscans: homelessness, housing, and public safety,” he wrote. “In addition, for three years I have been spearheading an ambitious project with Mayor Lee to close the digital divide and bring fast and affordable Internet service to every San Franciscan. I look forward to making this vision a reality before I leave office.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Farrell terms out of office in January 2019.

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