Slew of candidates vie to be mayor’s pick for District 5 supervisor

SF Examiner mapSan Francisco supervisorial District 5

Mayor Ed Lee’s upcoming appointment for District 5 supervisor is full of political intrigue.

Whoever he places into the seat to represent the most left-leaning district in San Francisco will impact the Board of Supervisors potentially for nine years.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi — who represents the Haight, Fillmore and Western Addition neighborhoods — was elected sheriff in November and will take that office Jan. 8. Lee’s appointment will take over then.

Lee hasn’t said who will fill the seat. By all accounts, he has yet to make up his mind. A list of his likely choices has emerged, and neighborhood groups and community leaders are weighing in.

Whoever Lee picks will have to be electable come November. And the field will be tough and crowded. Lesser politically known businesswoman and mother Thea Selby, chair of the Lower Haight Merchant and Neighbor Association, already filed to run and recently emailed Lee asking for a meeting about being his pick.

Also expected on the campaign trail are Quentin Mecke, a spokesman for Assemblyman Tom Ammiano; Julian Davis, president of the board of directors of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center; and Gabriel Haaland, political director for SEIU Local 1021.

Lee is in an interesting situation because he didn’t prevail in District 5 in the mayoral race. Progressive Supervisor John Avalos, who ultimately came in second, topped Lee there.

“[Lee] wants to check in with members of the community and hear from them about what kinds of traits and characteristics they want to see in their next supervisor,” Lee’s spokeswoman Christine Falvey said. “He has already reached out and met with Supervisor Mirkarimi on the subject and has a lot of other people to talk to about this important decision.”

Possible appointees

London Breed

Executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex

Political power: Aligned with former Mayor Willie Brown and worked in his administration.
Concerns: Perception Lee is doing bidding of Willie Brown. Likely to face difficult election bid.

Michael Breyer

President, chairman and co-founder of Courtroom Connect; serves on Library Commission

Political power: Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to Mayor Ed Lee backing Breyer’s appointment.
Concerns: His lack of political experience and moderate leanings will make for a tough election.

Phil Ginsburg

Recreation and Park Department director

Political power: Gained prominence in ex-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration, going from Department of Human Resources director to Newsom’s chief of staff.
Concerns: Lives in the Inner Sunset, which may be eliminated from D-5 when boundaries are redrawn. And he could be too moderate to win an election.

Christina Olague

President of the Planning Commission

Political power: Aligned herself early on with the Run, Ed, Run campaign, which was set up to convince Lee to run for a full term.
Concerns: She has deep progressive roots and was appointed to the Planning Commission by a progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors led by Aaron Peskin and Chris Daly.

Malcolm Yeung

Aide to Mayor Ed Lee

Political power: He has strong ties to the Asian-American community and worked for the nonprofit Chinatown Community Development Center.
Concerns: There’s a perception Lee is caving into pressure from Rose Pak, the much-talked-about Chinatown power broker.

Michael O'Connor

Co-owner of the Independent music venue.

Political power: He chairs the Small Business Commission, and has friends on both sides of the political aisle.
Concerns: He considers former District 6 Supervisor and progressive firebrand Chris Daly a friend.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPhil GinsburgPoliticsSan Francisco

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