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Political Notebook: Mandelman faces token opposition in fall D8 race

by Matthew S. Bajko

District 8 Supervisor-elect Rafael Mandelman takes the oath of office after filing candidate papers to run for a full term in November. Photo: Facebook
District 8 Supervisor-elect Rafael Mandelman takes the oath of office after filing candidate papers to run for a full term in November. Photo: Facebook  

With no major opponent filing to run against him in November, District 8 Supervisor-elect Rafael Mandelman is all but assured of winning a full four-year term in the fall.

The gay attorney decidedly won the seat in the special election June 5 to fill out the remainder of gay former supervisor Scott Wiener's term through the end of the year. Wiener had resigned in late 2016 after being elected to the state Senate.

Mandelman received 60 percent of the vote in the primary race, according to unofficial returns. His strong showing prompted Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who had been appointed to the seat by the late mayor Ed Lee, to abandon his plans to run again in the fall.

Because of that decision, the deadline for candidates to file to run in November will remain open through June 18. The only other person who qualified Tuesday was theatrical technician Lawrence "Stark" Dagasse, who came in a distant third in the primary race with just 1.74 percent of the vote.

With moderate leaders like Wiener and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), as well as nine members of the Board of Supervisors, already backing the progressive Mandelman, it is highly unlikely he will draw a viable opponent for the seat that represents the gay Castro district, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights, and Glen Park at City Hall.

"I hope that is right," Mandelman, who already has a fall campaign war chest of more than $200,000, told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday morning.

His winning the seat flips control of the board to the progressives, who will have a 6-5 majority once Mandelman is sworn into office sometime in early July. With board President London Breed the expected winner of the mayor's race, he will have a hand in helping to elect a progressive to be board president. (Breed is sure to appoint a moderate as her replacement who will need to run for a full term in November.)

No supervisor has yet to reach out to Mandelman about the position, and he told the B.A.R. he was "just beginning to think" about who he would support.

Whoever becomes president will be up for re-election to the post in January when the winners of the even-numbered supervisor races, and the District 5 race, this November are sworn into office. Those contests could also swing control of the board back to the moderates.

In a surprise move Tuesday, District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang announced she would not run for re-election in order to seek new opportunities in the private sector. She is backing her aide, Jessica Ho, in the race against two male candidates, Adam Kim and Mike Murphy. Due to Tang's decision, the filing deadline to run for her seat will remain open until Monday.

In the District 2 race, Kat Anderson announced this week she was dropping her bid and endorsed Supervisor Catherine Stefani in the race. Former supervisor Mark Farrell appointed Stefani to the seat after becoming mayor in January. BART board director Nick Josefowitz is running to oust Stefani, as are businessman John Dennis and Schulyer Hudak, a documentarian who has worked for several Democratic officials.

School board member Matt Haney is running for the open District 6 seat against two moderate candidates, pro-development advocate Sonja Trauss and former planning commissioner Christine Johnson. Supervisor Jane Kim is termed out.

The District 10 supervisor seat is also open, as Malia Cohen is termed out and running for a seat on the state's tax board in November. Running to succeed her are Human Rights Commissioner Theodore Ellington, the Golden State Warrior's director of public affairs, and school board member Shamann Walton, executive director of nonprofit Young Community Developers.

Also running are Tony Kelly, a Potrero Hill resident who has run before, and community leaders Uzuri Pease-Greene, Asale-Haquekyah Chandler, and Gloria Berry.

Mandelman has endorsed Stefani, Haney, and Walton but has yet to endorse in the District 4 race.

Lesbian Oakland candidate fined
Margaret "Peggy" Moore, a lesbian political consultant, is being fined $2,500 by the state's political watchdog agency for failing to include the required language on mailings she sent out during her failed bid for Oakland City Council in 2016.

Moore, a former adviser to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, is a well-known national Democratic Party leader. Two years ago she tried to oust from office lesbian Oakland At-Large Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who easily won re-election that November.

According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, Moore's campaign failed to include the proper sender identification on two emails it had sent to voters. One linked to an online poll purportedly "about local issues in Oakland" that mostly asked about Moore and was conducted by EMC Research.

But the FPPC found that Moore's campaign failed to disclose the name of, or any other information regarding, Moore or her campaign committee as required under the state's Political Reform Act.

While the maximum penalty that could be imposed for the mistakes is $5,000, the FPPC decided to fine Moore half that amount. The agency's commission is expected to sign off on the fine at its June 21 meeting.

Political Notes, the notebook's online companion, is going on summer hiatus. It will return Monday, July 30.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes .
Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail m.bajko@ebar.com.

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