SF Supe Contest Wide Open
Three hotly contested campaigns for San Francisco supervisor seats remain horse races ahead of Election Day.
Two out candidates seeking board seats have received jolts of momentum in recent weeks, though, increasing their chances of being victorious.
Gay journalist Joel Engardio, running for the open District 7 seat west of Twin Peaks, received a surprise endorsement from the San Francisco Chronicle in his race. He is touting the paper’s backing on door hangers at every house in the district.
None of the better-known candidates in the race - Norman Yee, president of the city’s school board, former Port Commissioner Francis "FX" Crowley, and Board of Appeals President Mike Garcia - has been able to break out as a clear frontrunner. The outcome is likely to come down to the city’s instant voter runoff system, giving Engardio a chance to eke out a victory and become the first out person elected to a supervisor seat from a district on the city’s west side.
"This race is anyone’s, I think," Engardio told the Bay Area Reporter this week. "I think I can pull off an upset miracle no one expected because anecdotally I keep running into people who say they voted for me or their friend or neighbor told them about me. The signs look good."
The contest for the District 5 seat, held by incumbent Supervisor Christina Olague, continues to be upended following her vote to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Appointed to succeed Mirkarimi, a former supervisor, earlier this year, Olague is running to become the first out bisexual to be elected supervisor.
Her chances also improved after one of her main challengers, Julian Davis, became embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal. But those upset with her bucking Mayor Ed Lee, who appointed her to the seat and wanted Mirkarimi ousted due to a domestic violence incident between the sheriff and his wife, are gunning to defeat Olague.
This week they launched a website, http://www.sfwomenforaccountability.com, attacking Olague for her vote.
"We cannot allow her to roll back the progress we have made in preventing domestic violence and protecting survivors and so we have joined with other women and anti-domestic violence advocates to oppose her election," stated Andrea Shorter, an out lesbian and former president of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, who appears in a video on the website.
The latest hit against Olague comes after a number of progressive leaders, such as former Mayor Art Agnos and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, have rallied to her defense. They recently gathered on the steps of City Hall to tout her candidacy.
"Being progressive is not about being a robot," stated gay rights activist and labor organizer Cleve Jones, who took part in the rally. "Christina is not a cookie-cutter, but she’s exactly what we should expect from a progressive leader: she is compassionate, independent, purposeful - and she knows her shit!"