Lee seeking electable Mirkarimi replacement

Courtesy photoMayor Ed Lee

Residents of The City’s District 5 will likely have to wait until after the holidays to know who their new supervisor will be.

Mayor Ed Lee said he hopes to make a decision soon, but that he will wait until after New Year’s Day to announce a replacement for Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who was elected in November to be The City’s first new sheriff in more than 30 years. The appointee will serve the remaining year of Mirkarimi’s supervisorial term.

Lee said he is looking at a crowded field of candidates and characterized the decision as “one of the toughest” he has faced so far. The mayor said no matter who he appoints to the seat, he wants the new supervisor to be electable in 2012.

“I’m not just going to pick someone ideologically close to me. That’ll only last for eight or nine months,” Lee said. “We’re going to have an election, and the election should yield the same person.”

During the mayoral race, District 5 — which includes the Haight, Fillmore and Western Addition neighborhoods — was one of the few Lee did not carry. The mayor said he’s looking over three thick binders of “homework” and bios of District 5 hopefuls, while considering the fact that the area is made up of four to five distinct neighborhoods.

The mayor said aside from appointing Mirkarimi’s replacement, he would like to steer clear of politicking in supervisorial races next year, adding that it’s doubtful he’d make endorsements in those contests.

“You automatically know there will be a winner and loser,” Lee said. “That would create more angst, when it is my job to bring as much unity as possible to the board as a whole.”

Possible appointees for District 5 include London Breed,  executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex; Michael Breyer, a member of the Library Commission; Phil Ginsburg, head of the Recreation and Park Department; Christina Olague, president of the Planning Commission; Malcom Yeung, a mayoral aide; and Michael O’Connor, owner of The Independent music venue.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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