It’s election season in San Francisco, so everyone is at least a little angry.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin is drawing the ire of fellow progressives by endorsing his moderate colleague Matt Dorsey for election this November instead of prominent progressive Honey Mahogany in the race for District 6 supervisor.
Some took to Twitter to express dismay — or outright confusion — that Dorsey would even accept the lefty Peskin’s endorsement.
Meanwhile, state Assemblymember Matt Haney, who until earlier this year represented the district in which Dorsey and Mahogany are now competing, continues a streak of throwing shade at the city government he recently left.
The District 6 race will determine who represents a newly drawn district that includes Mission Bay, SoMa and Treasure Island. It’s the epicenter of San Francisco’s struggles with an opioid overdose crisis and rampant open-air drug use.
Dorsey and Mahogany — the two most prominent candidates in a field of four — have made public safety a top issue to such an extent that observers have commented it’s difficult to tell the two apart.
Peskin told The Examiner that his endorsement of Dorsey is not an aberration from his decades-long record in San Francisco politics. (He actually endorsed Dorsey in August, he said, but Dorsey chose to tout the endorsement on Twitter only last week.)
“We have, in the current political environment, very different political stances on some issues, but he is the kind of person who I can work with, who listens (and) who knows and has a lot of history at City Hall,” Peskin said.
Those political differences are not insubstantial. Peskin and Dorsey have taken different sides, for example, on the dueling November ballot measures that aim to facilitate affordable housing construction.
But Peskin noted the two share similar outlooks on issues like rent control and government accountability.
“I think he has an open mind on a range of policy issues that we have yet to work on and explore together,” Peskin said.
Peskin goes way back with Dorsey, a longtime City Hall insider who worked as a senior adviser to former City Attorney Dennis Herrera for more than a decade before shifting to the San Francisco Police Department’s top spokesman.
Those types of connections clearly irk Haney.
“The City Family that has run City Hall for decades tends to stick together. It runs across political labels, and it clearly isn’t working for our city’s residents. Time for a change,” Haney tweeted on Tuesday. “(Honey Mahogany) is a candidate who can help us get beyond all of this. We desperately need it.”
Mahogany was Haney’s chief of staff while he was in City Hall. Haney didn’t hide his disappointment when Mayor London Breed to choose to appoint Dorsey to fill his vacant seat in May after Haney won a special election to the state Assembly.
Breed endorsed Haney in his race for Assembly against former Supervisor David Campos, but turned down his recommendation of Mahogany when deciding on his replacement.
Peskin said he doesn’t know what Mahogany “stands for or believes in.”
“People who I think are real people and who are human and aren’t the stereotype of a political climber are people who are interesting to me, and people who I think are worthy of support,” Peskin said.
In response, Mahogany touted her career as a social worker and small business owner in San Francisco and noted she’s only been in politics for the last four years in The City.
“There has been a lot of pushback from some of the people who are basically establishment folks. … They are folks who have been in power for decades and got us into the mess we’re in,” Mahogany told The Examiner.
In a text to The Examiner, Haney argued Mahogany has a long record of delivering for District 6 residents.
“I think that’s the kind of leadership voters will be looking for. I’m pretty sure they aren’t checking for the candidate who Aaron Peskin endorsed,” Haney said. “I don’t think voters want more power for Aaron Peskin or Peskin-supported candidates at City Hall. Frankly, we’ve seen enough of the deep dysfunction, obstructionism and entrenched failure.”
It’s the latest tiff in an ongoing game of I’m-not-toxic-you’re-toxic.
In a San Francisco Chronicle interview earlier this month, Haney opined that when it comes to city politics, “People always have their knives out.”
“If you say something or you have a difference with somebody, you can expect that will be shared and people will come after you,” Haney said.