Mayor Mark Farrell has yet to decide on who he will appoint to serve in his previous role of District 2 supervisor, he told the San Francisco Examiner Wednesday afternoon.
Less than 24 hours after being sworn in as mayor, Farrell said “a number of people” reached out about the appointment, but he had yet compile a list of possible appointees for further vetting.
The former District 2 supervisor catapulted into San Francisco’s top post Tuesday night when the Board of Supervisors voted to name him interim mayor, knocking out Board President London Breed from the position of acting mayor.
One of his first big decisions in office is deciding who will succeed him in the District 2 seat, which represents the Marina and Pacific Heights neighborhoods.
Farrell’s accession throws a curveball in the District 2 November contest. Farrell was scheduled to term out of his seat in January 2019. Candidates include BART board member Nicholas Josefowitz and Kat Anderson, a lawyer and Recreation and Parks commissioner, and Schuyler Hudak, who founded a media start-up company.
Whomever Farrell appoints could have a significant advantage in the race with the power of incumbency.
Former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who has yet to file but has been expected to enter the race, is one name being mentioned by City Hall insiders as a possible appointment. Alioto-Pier helped Farrell in his first election to the board. Alioto-Pier declined to comment.
Another possibility is Catherine Stefani, who was a legislative aide for both Alioto-Pier and Farrell, and who has since become the county clerk. Stefani did not respond to a request for comment.
Joe Alioto Veronese, who is a District 2 resident, has filed to run for district attorney in November 2019, and given his public service ambitions a seat on the board may be appealing to him. He didn’t rule out the possibility but said his focus remains on running to serve as San Francisco’s top prosecutor.
Veronese, however, offered up one suggestion that would take the power of incumbency out of the race.
“I would consider a caretaker appointment until the next election,” Veronese told the San Francisco Examiner. He suggested he could serve as the District 2 supervisor until the November election, and not run himself. The idea, he said, is based on what he feels is the appetite of voters to have fair and open elections.
Farrell told the Examiner on Wednesday he had yet to make his decision.
“I haven’t compiled a list yet. A number of people have reached out. I haven’t been able to even really look at all the text messages and voicemails I have at this point,” Farrell said. He declined to name any possible contenders or who had reached out to him for it.
Among those who called Farrell asking to talk about being appointed was Anderson, the District 2 candidate. She said she texted and called him Tuesday night after the board voted to congratulate him and to ask for him to appoint her to the seat. She said she hasn’t heard from him yet.
Hudak, also a District 2 candidate, said she called Farrell to congratulate him. “Of course I would love to be appointed,” she said.
Josefowitz did not respond to a request for comment.
The full board’s next meeting is Tuesday, and it’s unclear if Farrell will appoint someone to the seat in time for that meeting.
“I want to make sure that the residents of District 2, which is the neighborhoods I was born and raised in, are well served and have an active supervisor representing them,” Farrell said. He added that he “didn’t have a specific time frame, but I want to do it sooner rather than later.”
In his first full day as mayor, Farrell arrived at City Hall Wednesday at 8 a.m. and had a mayoral staff meeting and department head meeting at 9:30 am. In the afternoon, he toured the site of a three-alarm fire that damaged businesses in West Portal the night before.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.