With District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener headed off to Sacramento, the Board of Supervisors is soon to be Wiener-less. Who will fill the gaping void on that governing body for the City and County of San Francisco?
That's up to Mayor Lee, and it's the hottest new parlor games for local politicos. As San Franciscans ensured by voting down Proposition D, which would have forbidden mayoral appointees to the Board from running for election after serving their interim term, whoever next occupies Wiener's sizable shoes is going to attempt to hold on to them for some time, and incumbents tend to have an advantage. That raises the stakes a bit, so presumably, Lee is going to go for someone who is relatively electable (more on that in a moment). One further note: Wiener hasn't officially defeated Jane Kim, his more progressive colleague on the board and rival for the District 11 State Senate seat. Votes are still being counted, but his victory is being treated as a foregone conclusion.
Randy Shaw at Beyond Chron is reading the tea leaves, and he's thinking that one Alex Randolph, currently in the wings as a City College Board Trustee, could be ripe for the position. "First and most importantly, Randolph has a track record of electoral success," Shaw writes,"He just won his own four-year term on the College Board after Mayor Lee appointed him to the position in April 2015." Further, Randolph "will never cast a vote or say something publicly that will embarrass the mayor... and given Lee’s past experience, this factor alone will weigh heavily on his decision." Perhaps out of political correctness, or perhaps because he assumes we all know this and follow local politics as closely as he does, Shaw buries until later in his writing that Randolph would represent another black voice on the board, joining Supervisors Breed and Cohen. While we're playing identity politics, Randolph, like Wiener, is gay, and would of course also represent the historically LGBT Castro District once represented by Harvey Milk.
Shaw points out that Christina Olague in D5 and Julie Christensen in D3, two of the Mayor's past appointees to the board, have failed to win reelection, so surely he's hoping to change his luck. Correction: This post originally neglected to mention Katy Tang, the mayor's appointee to District 4. Tang has won reelection twice.
While Shaw doesn't think that Randolph, or really anyone, has or requires name recognizability to get the job, he can't come up with too many other names himself. One other is Connor Johnson, top aide to London Breed, but Shaw likes Randolph's chances better.
To Hoodline, Wiener wrote before the election that, if he were chosen by voters, he'd like the Mayor "to make a strong appointment to succeed me—someone who will work night and day, as I have, to support our community and advance good policy at City Hall.”
The District 8 supervisor would serve until the next District 8 election in 2018, and, thanks again to the failure of Prop D., there is no timeline by which the Mayor must make his appointment. Many Supervisorial decisions are made by an incomplete Board.via Alex Randolph