A whole lot of California politicians might be moving to Washington under a Biden-Harris Administration in the coming months, and SF Mayor London Breed could well be among them. It's all just rumor at this point, but should Breed get tapped for a bigger job — whether it be senator, cabinet position, or something else — San Francisco City Hall will be thrust into drama the likes of which it hasn't seen since the sudden death of Ed Lee, and before that, the elevation of Gavin Newsom to the Governor's office.
Breed's name has been floated as being on a short list of possible replacements for Kamala Harris in the Senate — a decision about which Newsom has yet to show his hand. Though that is a less likely possibility than some position within the Biden Administration, only because there are others in line for the Senate seat with more statewide campaign and fundraising experience.
Breed gave an interview to KQED's Kate Wolffe on November 7, the day that most news organizations called the election for Biden, talking about her history with Senator Harris and whether she'd consider a cabinet or subcabinet position, should one be offered. Here's how she responded:
Well, I got to tell you, I love being mayor. I'm really focused on being mayor. And I'm also focused on enjoying this victory and the future.
I just, I'm not certain how I might feel about moving from this incredible opportunity as mayor. I think I am great here as mayor and I want to focus on that job.
So we'll see. I want to be supportive. I want to be helpful.
As BrokeAss Stuart notes today, it's far from clear who would fill Breed's shoes should she end up decamping to D.C. Under the City Charter, the President of the Board of Supervisors is next in line, and for now that would be Norman Yee — but he only remains in the role until his term is up in early January. At that point, the Board gets to elect a new president of the board.
The new Board, with two new supervisors (Connie Chan in District 1 and Myrna Melgar in Yee's District 7 seat), is seated on January 8. However, if Breed were to resign as mayor before then, Yee would automatically become mayor and the old board would vote to elect a new mayor, who would then later have to run for the office. This happened in both the cases of Ed Lee — who was hand-picked out of his City Hall job in 2011 by power brokers Rose Pak and Willie Brown, promising not to run for the office and just to be a caretaker mayor, only to later run anyway and serve seven years until his death — and London Breed. Both were ultimately elected by the people of San Francisco (with former Supervisor Mark Farrell serving for five months as mayor before a special election that put Breed in the job in June 2018).
Supervisor Matt Haney has sounded like he was running for mayor in various instances over the last year or more. And Supervisor Aaron Peskin likely wants the job as well.
Both are part of the progressive voting bloc on the Board, and whether successful or not, Breed may angle to put someone more moderate in the Mayor's Office if she can. Progressives still hold a majority, though, and BrokeAss Stuart suggests that some other progressive politicos not currently in the spotlight, like former Supervisor Jane Kim or former State Senator and mayoral hopeful Mark Leno, could also end up landing in the job.
Whoever it is will have to face an election in June or November next year, and any of the above candidates could then run against them.
As Breed herself said, "We'll see"!
Top image: Breed at a news conference in January. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images