Two weeks out from the AD-17 special election for the state Assembly, Mayor London Breed has endorsed Supervisor Matt Haney over David Campos — no surprise considering that Haney’s exit from the Board of Supervisors would award Breed the chance for a hand-picked replacement.

Two years ago, when District 6 supervisor Matt Haney was the fresh new face on the SF Board of Supervisors, a number of political observers wondered “Does Matt Haney have his eyes on the mayor’s office?

Haney immediately placed himself as Breed’s most visible and vocal opponent, relentless on the Mohammed Nuru/Public Works corruption scandal, and picking a public fight with Breed over their dueling mental health care proposals. For her part, Breed lodged a very clear “Fuck you, Matt Haney” by not including him in her December Tenderloin crime crackdown announcement, tailored to his district, while other districts’ supervisors Catherine Stefani and Ahsha Safai stood right by her.

But three years and one state Assembly race after Haney took office, he and the mayor’s strange-bedfellow process is complete. KRON4 reports that Breed endorsed Haney for state Assembly Tuesday morning, two weeks to the day before his April 19 special election against former supervisor David Campos.  

“I appreciate that as Budget Chair, Matt stepped up to work with me during extremely challenging times during the pandemic to craft a balanced budget that delivers the services and priorities our city needs,” Breed said in a statement. “I’m happy to endorse his candidacy and look forward to working with him as a partner in the Assembly.”

Yes, Haney is the chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee. That’s still kind of an obscure thing to compliment him on, and certainly not his best-known work. Breed has not (yet) tweeted any endorsement beyond the brief statement.

Still, Haney is happy to have it! “As Assemblymember, I am committed to working closely with Mayor Breed to champion solutions on homelessness, housing, and affordability for all San Franciscans,” Haney added in the press release.

Haney has done a remarkable balancing act here, pivoting the traditional centrist platform of the pro–developer, YIMBY wing (who had traditionally hated him) into a labor and union platform. Getting Breed’s endorsement shows good political instincts.

But we seem to be forgetting Breed’s political instincts. If Haney wins, Breed gets to appoint his replacement. A Haney victory gives her a political power grab gift-wrapped in a brand new Chanel bag; the ability to handpick Haney’s replacement on the current Board of Supervisors, and weaken the board’s progressive wing that often opposes her.

For his part, David Campos has words. “This endorsement was certainly not unexpected,” he said in a statement to KRON4. “In the past few weeks our momentum has surged. We’ve seen the establishment rush to protect Matt Haney, whether that is the California Realtors Association, the anti-Medicare For All medical lobby, or now the mayor.”

In the four-way February 15 primary for the seat, Haney beat Campos by a mere 726 votes (out of nearly 94,000 cast in the race). Their two-way general election face-off is Tuesday, April 19.

Related: Haney Forces State to Change Campos’ Ballot Description, as the Two Campaigns Try to Manufacture Differences [SFist]

Image: @MattHaneySF via Twitter