The winds of San Francisco politics are going to strengthen in the coming weeks, with potential shakeups that will likely bring us a new assemblymember in Sacramento, and potentially a shift in power on the Board of Supervisors.
The machinations are nearly complete in installing City Attorney Dennis Herrera — whose held that job for 20 years — in the position of general manager of the SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). This sets up the first domino-effect shakeup to stem from the Mohammed Nuru/City Hall corruption scandal, which led in December to the resignation of former SFPUC general manager Harlan Kelly after he was charged with fraud in federal court.
Mayor London Breed announced the appointment of Herrera back in April, in a move that was seen both as a gift to Herrera — who multiple times sought the mayor's office — and a means of removing a potential opponent in upcoming elections. That appointment received the endorsement of the commission itself back in June, and next week, the SFPUC is expected to finalize Herrera's $395,000/year contract for the job. After that, Herrera will make his resignation as city attorney formal, and then the dominoes start to fall.
The Examiner reported two months back that Assemblymember and former Board of Supervisors President David Chiu was "widely rumored" to be Breed's pick to replace Herrera as city attorney. Chiu has now done his time in Sacramento, seven years' worth, and he'll get to stop commuting there and return home to City Hall.
That will then trigger a special election to fill Chiu's assembly seat, and his rival in the 2014 election, David Campos — a former supervisor and now chief of staff to District Attorney Chesa Boudin and chair of the SF Democratic County Central Committee — is no doubt going to run for it again.
Back in July, Campos acknowledged his interest in running to the Examiner, but also acknowledged that it could get awkward for city progressives if it becomes a showdown between him and District Six Supervisor Matt Haney, whose political ambitions have been more than clear in recent years. (And Campos may be seriously considering his Plan B, given that Boudin is facing a potential recall election, if the recall proponents gather enough signatures by next month.)
Is Matt Haney actually going to run, potentially opening up a seat on the Board of Supes for Mayor London Breed to fill with an ally? The Chronicle suggests this week that it is likely he will.
Were he to win, then both Chiu and Breed's chosen successor for D6 supervisor would have to face elections next year — Haney's term expires and he would also have to be reelected next November if he remained in City Hall.
Got all that?
By way of endorsing himself in July for the assembly, Campos told the Examiner, "From my interaction at the state level, my work with the state Democratic Party, I do think that there is a need for strong progressive voice especially among communities of color and within the Latinx community in particular."
Haney has not said either way whether he'll run, but he said, "Whatever happens, I’ll be very involved in helping making sure we have someone representing us in the assembly who continues to lead on those issues."
Photo: Corbin Bell