District 5 race for Gonzalez seat already crowdedSan Francisco Chronicle
April 18, 2004
The news that San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez won’t seek re- election in November isn’t even a week old, but already at least 19 people have their eyes on his District 5 seat.
Eight women and two men have filed their intent to run with the city’s Department of Elections, while nine others say they’re considering competing to represent the district -- historically, the city’s most left-leaning politically -- that winds from the Inner Sunset to the Western Addition and includes Haight-Ashbury.
"There’s an enormous chess game going on right now, as candidates try to position themselves and stake out territory," said Alex Clemens, president of Barbary Coast Consulting, a local political consulting firm.
There’s plenty of time for the field to become even more crowded -- supervisorial hopefuls have until Aug. 6 to file.
City Hall insiders say this race won’t resemble the one Gonzalez won four years ago. Then, a backlash against Mayor Willie Brown, an endorsement by Supervisor Tom Ammiano and name recognition from Gonzalez’s unsuccessful bid for district attorney boosted him into first place among 11 candidates. He won a runoff handily over the second-place finisher, Brown’s pick, Juanita Owens.
Among these 19 names, no one -- except perhaps Assistant District Attorney Jim Hammer -- has Gonzalez’s name recognition.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and the supervisors -- including Gonzalez -- have yet to endorse any of the candidates.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin said: "It’s a long time between now and August. Many nations have been won and lost in that amount of time." But one thing is for sure, he added: "District 5 is a quintessentially progressive district ... and it’s going to elect a progressive supervisor."
Bill Barnes, an aide to Supervisor Chris Daly and a potential candidate, said one aspect to consider is the interaction between Green Party candidates and Democrats.
Gonzalez switched from Democrat to Green during the 2000 runoff and is considered a rising star within that party.
POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR DISTRICT 5
Robert Anderson, dishwasher, Ruby Skye
Joseph Blue, former member, Golden Gate Bridge District
Harold Brown, writer
Lisa Feldstein, planning commissioner
Carlos Levexier, youth coordinator, Western Addition Community Technology Center
Michael O’Connor, member, Small Business Commission
Jim Siegel, landlord, businessman
Tys Sniffen, neighborhood activist
Vivian Wilder, political activist.
Considering a run:
Ruth Dewson, milliner
Robert Haaland, labor organizer, former president, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Jim Hammer, assistant district attorney
Matt Juhl-Darlington, education attorney
Dan Kalb, environmentalist
Susan King, Green Party activist
Ross Mirkarimi, Green Party strategist, worked on Gonzalez’s mayoral campaign
Andrew Sullivan, chairman, Rescue Muni
Benjamin Vanderford, banker
See this article in the San Francisco Chronicle