Last night, nine of the total thirty-two* candidates for San Francisco's Next Top Mayor gathered at the University of San Francisco for a forum on the topic of "Service." The forum format is apparently key here because according to the recaps this morning, there were no actual arguments from any of the candidates. Questions were submitted in advance, so the candidates had plenty of time to prepare their answers, but by all accounts, both journalistic and anecdotal, the [ahem] debate was a bore. Since this election will be all about math, let's break down the discussion by the numbers:
- Candidates in attendance: 9 - David Chiu, John Avalos, Joanna Rees, Bevan Dufty, Tony Hall, Leland Yee, Michela Alioto-Pier, Phil Ting, Dennis Herrera
- Total runtime for the event: 1 and 1/2 hours
- Lady candidates: 2
- Current or former supervisors in attendance: 5
- Campaign staffers tweeting on behalf of their candidates: At least 3 - Herrera, Rees and Chiu.
- Former Willie Brown aides in attendance: 1 - Bevan Dufty, who apparently sounded like "a gay Mike Huckabee," according to one audience member.
- Mentions of Pension Reform: 1 - by current Board president David Chiu
- Candidates who support payroll tax reform: 4 (kind of) - Chiu, Herrera and Rees are all making it a priority, Alioto-Pier reminded everyone that she helped with the Biotech payroll cut.
- Progressive hearts bleeding: 1 - John Avalos who "emphasized the importance of funding services for the neediest San Franciscans" as a way to dodge the payroll tax issue.
- Plugs for campaign websites: 1 - Phil Ting for ResetSanFrancisco.org
- Candidates in attendance who are also friends with Sex and the City boytoys: 1 - Joanna Rees.
- New voters who can't figure out what the hell ranked-choice voting is and, in giving up, wrongly compared the whole thing to socialism: At least 1. From the Examiner:
After the forum, Meghan Ginley, 18, said she was still trying to wrap her head around ranked-choice voting. She compared the system, which is meant to avoid costly runoff elections, to socialism.
In case you'd like to dive deeper:
SF Candidates Gather for Lovefest [BayCitizen]
San Francisco Mayoral Hopefuls Cross the Starting Line [SFExaminer]
S.F. Mayoral Contenders Square Off in 1st Debate [Chron]
Friendly Tone for First Debate in SF Mayor's Race [BCN/SFAppeal]
*For our candidate count, we're going off of this list of candidates from SF Usual Suspects, but really: who could know for sure how many people are running for Mayor? Nobody, that's who.