Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Political Notebook: Speier, Pelosi back Wiener in D8 supe race


Congresswoman Jackie Speier has endorsed Scott Wiener in the District 8 supervisor race.
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Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) have both endorsed Scott Wiener in the race to succeed termed-out District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty this fall.

In a statement released to the Bay Area Reporter , Speier and Pelosi both praised Wiener's leadership skills and his work for the Democratic Party.

"Over the years, I've seen firsthand Scott Wiener's leadership style – Scott brings people together to get things done for San Francisco. Scott Wiener's leadership in the Democratic Party and in the community is exceptional," stated Speier, whose district reaches as far north as Diamond Heights in San Francisco.

Pelosi added, "Scott Wiener is part of a bold, new generation of leaders for San Francisco, and he has my support for District 8 supervisor."

In recent weeks LGBT activists have criticized Pelosi, as well as other congressional leaders, for Congress' failure to send the president any gay rights bills this year. Speier stunned local LGBT politicos at a Pride event when she predicted a federal jobs protection bill for LGBT people could take another five years to pass.

Pelosi continues to backtrack from the pledge she made in May to local LGBT leaders that the House would vote on the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act this year. In a recent mailing sent to her constituents, Pelosi drops mention of any timeline for an ENDA vote.

Rather, she merely wrote, "I will continue to fight for the passage" of ENDA and states that "since my first day in Congress, ending discrimination against gays and lesbians has been a top priority."

Asked if he was worried anger over Congress' inaction could filter down to his campaign due to his having the House members' support, Wiener brushed aside any such notions. He noted he voted for a resolution passed last month by local Democratic Party leaders that called on Congress and Pelosi to pass ENDA.

"I think that the speaker is well respected and popular in the community. I understand, as well, the frustration around the ENDA issue. I share that frustration that the bill has not moved forward yet," said Wiener, a deputy city attorney. "But I also have confidence that Speaker Pelosi will move the bill and she understands how important that is. I am honored to have the speaker's endorsement."

Who's in, who's out of fall races

The high profile endorsements, to be announced today (Thursday, August 12) by Wiener's campaign, come as elections officials have finalized the list of qualified candidates who will appear on the November ballot. And there are a few surprises.

In particular to the D8 race, Starchild , a libertarian sex worker, failed to make the cut this go around. He twice ran against Dufty for the seat and had pulled papers for a third try, but he was never considered a serious contender in the race. James Boeger, another perennial candidate, also was left off the list for the D8 race as even he had predicted would happen back in February.

Four openly gay candidates did qualify to seek the open seat. Along with Wiener will be Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Prozan , local attorney Rafael Mandelman , and business executive Bill Hemenger .

In the District 10 race former AIDS czar under Mayor Willie Brown and onetime B.A.R. political columnist Bill Barnes opted not to run. He instead filed papers for school board.

A total of 22 people are competing for the D10 seat, including BART board member Lynette Sweet, Community College board member Chris Jackson , local newspaper publisher Steve Moss , and Malia Cohen , a former staffer to Mayor Gavin Newsom .

All three of the Community College Board members up for re-election this year, including openly gay member Lawrence Wong , are assured another term now that no one opted to run against them. Michael Goldstein, a gay man who had planned to seek a seat on the board, had lined up an early endorsement from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.

But this week he told the B.A.R. he decided to withdraw due to health reasons.

"I am sorry too, because they all get a free ride," Goldstein said.

Fifteen people made the cut in the District 6 race, where the field includes school board president Jane Kim and a number of LGBT candidates, including drag performer Glendon Hyde, lesbian artist Debra Walker, mental health board chair James Keyes, Entertainment Commissioner Jim Meko, and Theresa Sparks, a transgender woman who heads the city's Human Rights Commission.

Neither Gary Converse, a gay man who is disabled, nor Renato Cazares , a gay man who works in the education sector, who had pulled papers to seek the D6 seat will appear on the ballot.

District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu is assured re-election as no one filed to run against her, while District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier 's name will be on the ballot. She recently won a court ruling that she can seek another term, overruling City Attorney Dennis Herrera's opinion that she was termed out of office this year.

The matter is now on appeal and her main opponent in the race, Janet Reilly, qualified for the ballot and this week filed an amicus brief in the city attorney's case.

In total 49 people are running in the various even-numbered supervisor races this year. Public Defender Jeff Adachi drew no contenders for his office, while both BART District 8 board member James Fang and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting face contested elections, though both are expected to easily win their races.

The list of people qualified to run for the city's school board won't be known until later this week, as elections officials extended the filing deadline to 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 11 due to Kim's supervisorial bid.

Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check Monday mornings around 10 a.m. for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @

Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 861-5019 or e-mail mailto:.

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