Battle for board of supes underway

With the outcome of this year’s municipal election mostly a fait accompli, San Francisco’s political factions are already preparing for November 2008, an expected battle for control of the Board of Supervisors.

“Everybody’s talking about next year already,” political analyst David Latterman said. “It will shape The City for the next six to eight years.”

Four supervisors will term out of office next year: Jake McGoldrick in District 1, Aaron Peskin in District 3, Tom Ammiano in District 9 and Gerardo Sandoval in District 11. The four city legislators were all voted into office in 2000 in a progressive sweep seen as a backlash to the backroom politics of former Mayor Willie Brown. Another supervisor, Sean Elsbernd, is up for re-election.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jim Lazarus said anti-Brown sentiment helped elect progressives — even in moderate districts.

“There’s some opportunity, next year, to elect, by San Francisco standards, a few more moderate supervisors,” he said.

More moderate supervisors, it is surmised, will consistently back Mayor Gavin Newsom, who frequently battles with the board, and sometimes loses when an 8-3 progressive supermajority passes veto-proof legislation.

Wade Randlett, president of SFSOS, a group focused on “quality of life” issues such as crime and public schools, said they’ll be working to elect supervisors that are more moderate than Newsom.

“They’ll be doing it to tackle the issues he hasn’t already tackled,” Randlett said. “Real moderates that are not waiting for the mayor’s lead.”

Ten candidates have already filed paperwork with the Department of Elections to run for a supervisor’s seat next November, including Eric Mar and Mark Sanchez, both educators on San Francisco’s school board; attorney Claudine Cheng, chair of the Treasure Island Development Authority; John Avalos, legislative aide for Supervisor Chris Daly; and Eric Quezada, the executive director of a San Francisco homeless services nonprofit.

Daly said that while Newsom may enjoy the big-dollar financial support of downtown business interests that allow him to dominate a citywide contest, supervisorial district elections allow neighborhoods to vote for more left-leaning candidates.

“I think progressives are strongly situated,” Daly said. “You’ll see a stronger and more progressive majority after next year’s elections.”

beslinger@examiner.com

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