I don’t recall many celebrity endorsements in previous San Francisco District Attorney races, but Mayor Breed’s installation of Suzy Loftus has drawn response from Danny Glover, Spearhead’s Michael Franti, and other prominent leftie entertainers known to delve into politics.
The day after District Attorney George Gascón shockingly resigned out the blue, and Mayor Breed immediately installed candidate Suzy Loftus to the job for a brief but perhaps electorally significant interim period, former state senator Mark Leno told the Examiner he would come out of retirement and campaign for Loftus’ rival Chesa Boudin. So it’s not a shock that Leno wrote an essay condemning Breed’s move and endorsing Boudin. It’s a little more surprising that actor Danny Glover co-wrote that Sunday Examiner op-ed, saying that “the establishment… sought to ram in its preferred candidate” and “the stink is overwhelming.”
The move to install Loftus has brought some additional response from the semi-famous in this four-way DA race that also includes state deputy attorney general Leif Dautch and Alameda deputy prosecutor Nancy Tung. Spearhead frontman Micheel Franti tweeted his support for Boudin Friday, David Talbot penned an op-ed against Breed’s move and endorsing Boudin, and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King has had kind words for Boudin too. (Boudin also got a retweet from John Legend in early October.)
For her part, Loftus released her own Women Leaders Stand with Suzy Loftus open letter on Medium, signed by several dozen prominent local women that include Sup. Catherine Stefani, Glide co-founder Janice Mirikitani, and former supervisors Malia Cohen, Katy Tang, Roberta Achtenberg, and Angela Alioto. The Bay Area Reporter endorsed Loftus last week, and over the weekend Loftus’ campaign touted an endorsement from labor icon Dolores Huerta.
.@DoloresHuerta is one of my heroes. She is a social justice icon and I’m looking forward to partnering with her to help deliver justice for working families in San Francisco. #ChangeStartsNow pic.twitter.com/rP8DbdKipt— Suzy Loftus 樂素詩 (@suzyloftus) October 12, 2019
Endorsements might not mean squat, but there could be some tea leaves to read in endorsement behavior. Consider the case of District 4 supervisor Gordon Mar, who is listed as endorsing Loftus on her website, and has at very least posed for campaign photos with her.
But Mar also immediately introduced legislation to prevent future Loftus-style appointments last week, he’s listed as endorsing Boudin on Boudin’s site as well, and appeared at a Boudin rally Sunday. If Mar is anything of a bellwether, Loftus’ appointment may have cost her some soft support.
Boudin is actually slightly ahead in fundraising in what has become the most expensive contest on November’s local elections (not counting Juul’s pricey but abandoned Prop C campaign.) He also benefits from a super PAC-style outside expenditure group called Youth and Families Taking Power Supporting Chesa Boudin for SF District Attorney, who’ve dropped more than $100,000 into the race, whereas Loftus, Tung, and Dietch do not have third-party expenditure groups supporting them. Loftus will have the power of incumbency (though she’ll be listed on the ballot as just “Legal Counsel, City & County of San Francisco”), and Gascón’s resignation takes effect Friday, so she’ll likely be sworn in as district attorney this weekend or Monday.