The Elon Musk and tech-PAC wing of the local SF political scene has their man to run against District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston in November, and it's tech founder and former Assembly candidate Bilal Mahmood who just announced he's running for Preston's seat.

The highest profile race in this year’s SF supervisor elections, without question, is the District 5 supervisors race where a number of political action committees (PACs) have been pouring money into defeating Supervisor Dean Preston. You’ll recall that even Elon Musk pledged $100,000 toward defeating Preston (which Musk never did), before calling for Preston to be sent to prison (which never happened).

Yet while tech PACs have been spending big to defeat Preston, there has been no Preston opponent that fits their profile. The only opponent Preston has thus far is Tenderloin Merchants and Property Owners Association founder Rene Colorado, who is not a tech founder-type.

Now those PACs they have their perfect fit. The Examiner reports that third-place 2022 state Assembly candidate Bilal Mahmood is running against Preston. Mahmood unsuccessfully ran against Matt Haney in that race, but Haney has since posted what sure looks like an endorsement tweet in favor of Mahmood to become supervisor. Mahmood has also recently posted photos of himself with Haney’s former chief of staff Honey Mahogany, so he’s clearly expanded his base a bit since that 2022 race.

“I'm running for District 5 because our Supervisor has failed to address the issues that matter — housing, public health and safety, and small business,” Mahmood said on Twitter Tuesday. “If we actually focus on ending bureaucracy & corruption, our district would thrive again."

The announcement is not a shock, considering that Mahmood’s campaign (or Mahmood himself?) leaked to the Chronicle that Mahmood was running for the seat way back in October.

Biographically, Mahmood is exactly the well-heeled specimen that tech PACs who are determined to beat Preston want to see: Stanford-educated, founded a Y Combinator-funded startup, and served as a policy analyst under the Obama administration. (Though while Mahmood worked for Obama, according to a 2022 Mission Local report, he hasn’t actually voted much in many  previous elections.)

As of late, Mahmood has also been running for the SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC). Lots of SF candidates do that, because they can accept unlimited campaign donations for their DCCC race, whereas candidates for city office are bound by a $500 individual donation cap. Even though you can’t technically use the leftover DCCC money on a supervisor campaign, you can use it in, shall we say, “creative” ways. Mahmood told the SF Standard that he’d raised $200,000 for his DCCC race. That cannot be confirmed, nor can it be confirmed how much money the anti-Preston PACs have raised, but that information is required to reported next week.

So next week, we’ll know a lot more about where money is flowing in SF’s 2024 elections.

Related: Elon Musk Claims He’ll Spend $100,000 to Beat Dean Preston In 2024 Election [SFist]

Image: Bilal Mahmood via Facebook