Candidates vying to replace termed-out Supervisor Elsbernd to represent District 7

In San Francisco’s relatively conservative District 7, nine candidates are vying to replace termed-out Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who routinely supported more investment in basic infrastructure and warned about burgeoning government labor costs.

Yet a candidate backed by labor, former Port Commissioner FX Crowley, was the race’s top fundraiser as of Friday. Elsbernd’s personal choice to take his seat, former Board of Appeals Chairman Mike Garcia, was in second place in the race for contributions. Rounding out the top three is Board of Education President Norman Yee.

Of the six November supervisorial races, District 7 is the only one without an incumbent.

The full field includes Andrew Bley, a cartographer; Joel Engardio, a former journalist; Crowley, the longtime business manager for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 16; Garcia, an options trader; Lynn Gavin, a writer and former taxi driver; Julian Lagos, a retired teacher and community organizer; Glenn Rogers, a landscape architect; Bob Squeri, owner of a building maintenance company; and Yee, a former executive director of a nonprofit.

The platforms of Gavin, Lagos and Rogers all revolve around their opposition to the Parkmerced development. Meanwhile, the front-runners back the development and hold similar opinions on related topics as they look to appeal to the moderate voting base of District 7, an area of The City that’s southwest of Twin Peaks and contains Parkmerced, Lake Merced, Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco State University and Laguna Honda Hospital.

Favoring an approach often taken by Elsbernd, Garcia vowed to “look at legislation through an economic prism.” He said San Francisco needs to move beyond deifying its planning code while vilifying the people or companies that attempt to build projects here.

Crowley said he is running for office to look out for San Francisco’s next generation. “I’m not a politician,” he said. “I want to do the things that are necessary for the neighborhood I’ve lived in.”

Yee, who billed himself as a “strong independent voice,” said he would improve the economy, “return fiscal responsibility” and “promote small business and create jobs.” He also vowed to work on pedestrian-safety measures because “I almost got killed crossing the street six years ago.”

The fourth most successful fundraiser to date has been Engardio, who pledges to be a “common-sense supervisor.” He vowed to focus on meat-and-potatoes issues such as filling potholes, making Muni run on time and holding government programs accountable for their spending. “People are tired of watching themselves, San Francisco, be made fun of on John Stewart’s ‘Daily Show,’” he said.

Echoing that critique, Squeri said, “Government spending is out of control, and the Board of Supervisors’ policies are a national joke.” He said he wants to “give the power back to the people by getting the government off the back of the families and small businesses.”

Gavin, Lagos and Rogers are united by their lack of reported fundraising and also by their opposition to the Parkmerced development, the main reason why they jumped into the race.

“People on the west side consider the west side a special place to live,” Lagos said. “It doesn’t have the high density that you have east of Twin Peaks. And people want to keep it that way.”

Bley, who also has reported no contributions, vowed to support small businesses and work to make it easier for families to live in San Francisco.

Meet the District 7 candidates

Funds raised* Park Merced 8 Washington CleanPowerSF Oust Mirkarimi Board president
Norman Yee $63,844 Yes Yes No Yes David Chiu/ Jane Kim/ Scott Weiner/ Norman Yee
Joel Engardio $39,219 Yes Yes No Yes Scott Wiener/ David Chiu
Andrew Bley n/a Yes Yes No Yes Andrew Bley
Julian Lagos n/a No No No No John Avalos
Mike Garcia $80,288 Yes Yes No Abstained Scott Weiner
FX Crowley $130,144 Yes Yes No Yes n/a
Lynn Gavin n/a No No n/a No n/a
Glenn Rogers n/a No No Yes No John Avalos
Bob Squeri $22,211 Yes No No Yes n/a

*Ethics Commission filings as of Friday, Sept. 28; does not include matching public funds

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