Sup. Aaron Peskin proved you can get around term limits by just sitting out one term and then running for your old seat again. Now former supervisor John Avalos is looking to replicate the same trick.
It has been exactly one day since Sup. Vallie Brown conceded her loss to Dean Preston in the District 5 Board of Supervisors race, officially settling the dust on this year’s only supervisor contest. But the 2020 races are now, well, off to the races. The San Francisco Examiner reports that John Avalos has filed papers to run for the District 11 seat currently held by Sup. Ahsha Safai. Avalos already held that seat for two terms (2009-2017) and was term-limited out, but thanks to a quirk in the city charter, one can just run for their old seat again if they wait four years. Avalos is doing just that, and taking another shot at representing the Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, Ingleside, Oceanview, and Outer Mission.
If you’re unfamiliar with Avalos’ work, he cut his teeth as a labor activist and legislative aide to notoriously foul-mouthed former supervisor Chris Daly. During Avalos’ first term as District 11 supe, he ran for mayor against Ed Lee and came in second, possibly prompting Mayor Lee to maybe have called him “Supervisor Asshole” at a 2014 board meeting. But more significantly, per the Chronicle, Avalos was dinged in the 2011 mayoral race for failing to maintain complete campaign finance records. As a supervisor, he pushed for strict regulations of tech shuttles, protections for tent encampment dwellers, and more police body cams. But here on the gossipy confines of SFist, we remember Avalos more for admitting an affair with a staffer (causing City Hall to revise its employee handbook) and for his many obsessive “Game of Thrones” references.
In brief remarks to the Examiner, Avalos said he was running because, “We need the type of development that’s not driven first by the profit-makers, but driven first by community need.” This could be a veiled allusion to a failed 253-unit housing development above the Safeway near Mission and Geneva Streets that had a lot of opposition in the district. The Chronicle asked Avalos how he’d work with Mayor Breed, whom he’s long been antagonistic toward, and he replied that “I never shied away from asking her to come my way on things, but I didn’t always have her on my side.”
For his part, Sup. Safai told the Examiner that “It’s a democracy and I welcome anyone that decides to run to continue to advance our city in a positive direction.”
After this November’s one-race election, the November 2020 election will have six whole Board seats up for grabs, including this one. These include the seats of supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer (D1), Aaron Peskin (D3), and Hillary Ronen (D9). Sup. Norman Yee will be termed out of his District 7 seat, and Dean Preston will have to run for re-election to the District 5 seat he just won (and look for Vallie Brown to probably run again too).