State Senator and former SF Supervisor Scott Wiener is making moves in preparation to run for Nancy Pelosi's House seat next year, assuming she plans to retire, which she has not said she will.
Pelosi announced in November that she was stepping down as Democratic leader in the House, following the mid-term elections in which the party lost control of the House, though she said she would remain in her role as a rank-and-file member of the chamber.
While she said she would not seek reelection as House Minority Leader, she said, "there is no greater honor than speaking on behalf of the people of San Francisco."
But the writing is on the wall, as her colleague in Senate Dianne Feinstein has announced her intention to retire after next year — though, at 82, Pelosi is still seven years younger than Feinstein. While Pelosi may stil have some fight left in her, it has to have gotten exhausting being vilified by right-wing mobs for years, and having her home broken into last fall and her husband brutally attacked (allegedly) by a conspiracy-deluded zealot.
This week, Scott Wiener launched an exploratory committee and fundraising drive for a House run, confirming what has long been rumored to be his intention to claim Pelosi's seat when the time comes.
"Speaker Emerita Pelosi is one of the most effective and transformational leaders we've ever had," Wiener said in a statement. "It's a privilege to serve our community as State Senator, and I look forward to continuing to work day and night for the people of San Francisco."
Through a spokesperson, Wiener tells the Chronicle, "I am and will continue to be grateful to have [Pelosi] as my representative in Congress for as long as she is willing to serve. [But] I’m exploring my options for a potential congressional run in the event she decides to step down."
Wiener, who has been openly gay throughout his political career, is a vocal advocate for housing density and transit, as well as many other causes including drug decriminalization and criminal justice reform. While in the California Senate the past six years, he has authored 65 bills that have been signed into law, as outlined on his website.
Other potential contenders for Pelosi's seat have not yet emerged, and it may behoove Wiener to get out there early. It has long been rumored that Pelosi's daughter, attorney Christine Pelosi, intends to run for her mother's seat when the time comes. And former SF Supervisor Jane Kim, who unsuccessfully ran for the same state senate seat that Wiener now holds — losing to Wiener in a very close election in 2016 — is expected to seek the House seat as well, as the Chronicle notes.
A spokesperson for Pelosi, Aaron Bennett, gave a statement to the Chronicle saying, "Speaker Emerita Pelosi plans to serve her entire term in Congress, representing the people of San Francisco. And in order to help win back the House for the Democrats, she has filed for re-election."
Top Photo: California Senator Scott Wiener greets parade participants during the San Francisco Gay Pride parade on June 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California (Photo by Meera Fox/Getty Images)