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EQCA dual endorses in SF D8, San Mateo ed races

by Matthew S. Bajko

District 8 supervisor candidates Rafael Mandelman, left, and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy are sharing Equality California's endorsement in their race for the board seat. They took part in a debate last fall moderated by KQED reporter Marisa Lagos. Photo: Rick Gerharter
District 8 supervisor candidates Rafael Mandelman, left, and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy are sharing Equality California's endorsement in their race for the board seat. They took part in a debate last fall moderated by KQED reporter Marisa Lagos. Photo: Rick Gerharter   

Equality California has dual endorsed the out candidates running for the District 8 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools. Both elections will appear on the June 5 primary ballot.

The statewide LGBT advocacy organization split its support in the supervisor race between the current holder of the seat, Jeff Sheehy, and gay attorney Rafael Mandelman, a member of the City College of San Francisco board. Sheehy, a gay married father who is the first known person with HIV to serve on the board, was appointed to fill a vacancy last year by the late mayor Ed Lee.

They are seeking to serve out the remainder of gay former supervisor Scott Wiener's term through the end of the year. Wiener was elected to the state Senate in 2016 and resigned from his board seat that December.

Whoever wins in June will need to run in November for a full four-year term as supervisor. Mandelman and Sheehy have pulled papers for both elections.

In a statement, EQCA Executive Director Rick Zbur noted that Sheehy is a "self-described 'activist' ... committed to making San Francisco more affordable and safer for all." As for Mandelman, Zbur called him "a tireless advocate for San Francisco's LGBTQ community and a champion for the city's students and for San Franciscans experiencing homelessness."

In the San Mateo race, EQCA is supporting both Gary Waddell and Nancy Magee in their bids to succeed lesbian San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell. After serving two four-year terms in the position, Campbell opted not to seek re-election next year. Her current term will end in January 2019.

Waddell, a gay resident of Pacifica, currently serves as deputy superintendent of the instructional services division at the county education office. Zbur, in a news release sent late Thursday (April 5), stated that EQCA was impressed by Waddell's "vision of equity and inclusion and are excited to support his campaign for San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools."

Magee, a lesbian resident of Half Moon Bay, is the county's associate superintendent for the student services division. Zbur stated that EQCA is "confident she will work tirelessly to ensure that our schools are safe and supportive learning environments for LGBTQ youth."

EQCA this afternoon also endorsed gay Watsonville City Councilman Jimmy Dutra in the race for the fourth district seat of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. The first LGBT person to serve on his city council, Dutra would be the first LGBT supervisor on the county board if elected.

"Jimmy Dutra is a committed leader with a proven track record of getting results for his community," stated Zbur. "As county supervisor, Jimmy will continue to be a strong advocate for progress toward a Santa Cruz County that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ residents."

Matthew S. Bajko can be reached at m.bajko@ebar.com

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