Political Notes: 2024 SF supervisor candidates receive early endorsements

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Monday December 4, 2023
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Incumbent San Francisco Supervisors Connie Chan (District 1) left, Dean Preston (D5), and Myrna Melgar (D7) have received early endorsements for their 2024 reelection bids. Photos: Courtesy the candidates
Incumbent San Francisco Supervisors Connie Chan (District 1) left, Dean Preston (D5), and Myrna Melgar (D7) have received early endorsements for their 2024 reelection bids. Photos: Courtesy the candidates

The election for the odd seats on the 11-member San Francisco Board of Supervisors won't be held until November. Yet early endorsements are already coming in for a number of the candidates.

Straight incumbent Supervisors Connie Chan in District 1, Dean Preston in District 5, and Myrna Melgar in District 7, are all seeking second terms in 2024. They are part of the current board's progressive bloc.

In October, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club early endorsed Chan and Preston. Last month the progressive SF Rising Action Fund early endorsed all three of the supervisors, whose districts include neighborhoods on the city's western side.

"We are confident that amidst the many crises our city, state, and country faces, these champions of progressive change will center the needs of underserved communities in our city," noted the political committee with a focus on working-class communities of color in the city. "We're endorsing these candidates early because we know it's going to take all of us to get across that finish line and win big."

Despite a well-publicized effort over the last year to find someone to run against Preston, who now represents the city's Tenderloin and its Transgender District in addition to the Haight and Alamo Square after the latest redistricting of supervisor seats, no major candidate representing the city's more moderate political camp has gotten into the race to date. As of Friday, the sole person to have pulled papers to run against Preston was Allen Jones.

Former Obama administration staffer Bilal Mahmoud, who lost his bid for the city's District 17 Assembly seat last year, is widely rumored to be planning to run for the seat but has yet to pull papers to do so. He instead launched his campaign last month for a seat on the governing body of the San Francisco Democratic Party, which will be contested on the March primary ballot.

Pulling papers to run against Melgar in her West of Twin Peaks district are Matthew Boschetto, who owns the floral business Matilda's Bloombox with his wife, and Stephen Martin-Pinto, a Marine Corps reservist who lost his bid for the seat in 2020.

Running against Chan for a second time to represent the Richmond district are Marjan Philhour and Sherman D'Silva, who both lost in 2020. Also pulling papers to run are Jeremiah Boehner and Jen Nossokoff.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the current board president who is term limited from running again, has endorsed Deputy City Attorney Moe Jamil's bid to succeed him at City Hall.

"Moe has deep roots in District 3 — he will hit the ground running on day one," stated Peskin. "I have full confidence that he has all the skills to take over fighting for the people of every neighborhood of District 3 through the tough years that lie ahead. He will have my vote."

Jamil, a married father, has been active in various neighborhood organizations in the district. It includes North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Polk Street, Union Square/Financial District and Russian, Telegraph, and Nob Hills.

"I am excited to continue the fight for the people of this historic northeast corner of our great city," stated Jamil. "The people of District 3 and San Francisco have had powerful, effective leadership from Supervisor Aaron Peskin over his 16 years in office — and I am proud to have his endorsement as I launch this campaign for a better and more accountable city government; safer, cleaner streets, bringing help to local merchants and neighborhood protections to preserve what makes our communities special — and the treasures for which visitors from all over the world flock to."

Also pulling papers to run are Danny Sauter, who lost to Peskin in 2020, and former Municipal Transportation Agency board member Sharon Lai. A first-time candidate for public office, Lai also has the endorsement of Peskin and five other supervisors, including gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

"I've know Sharon for many years and have always been impressed with her track record of results on public safety, homelessness and transit. Her ability to work collaboratively to get things done is exactly what this city needs to turnaround our city's budget deficit," stated Mandelman. "I am fully supportively of and excited for her to become my colleague. She's someone I'm going to lean on to get things done."

Added Peskin, "I am proud to stand beside Sharon Lai and offer my full support as she embarks on this journey. Together, we can ensure that our voices are heard and that our diverse district remains a place we can all be proud to call home."

Lai told the Bay Area Reporter she's "extremely grateful" for the early support she has received from a diverse array of community members and elected leaders.

"This is a testament to my belief that San Franciscans are ready to cut through politics and focus on solutions. I've delivered results on safety, homelessness, housing and economic development and I'm excited to bring more effective improvements to D3 and our city," she stated.

Sauter launched his bid for the District 3 seat with the support of gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

"Danny is exactly the type of leader who we need right now on our Board of Supervisors," stated Wiener, himself a former District 8 supervisor. "He has a long track record of showing up and fighting the hard fights on critical issues like housing and transit."

Sauter is executive director of the Neighborhood Centers Together, which provides services to the city's youth, seniors, and low-income families.

"I'm running for supervisor because our neighborhoods need a leader in City Hall who will fight for what we need: safer neighborhoods with more police on the streets, more affordable housing, cleaner streets, and real reform for a dysfunctional City Hall," said Sauter.

In District 11, where incumbent Supervisor Ahsha Safaí is termed out and running for mayor next year, he has endorsed his former legislative aide Ernest "EJ" Jones to succeed him. Also running to represent the Excelsior, Ingleside, and Outer Mission neighborhoods is Muni operator Roger Marenco.

At this point the only race on the 2024 ballot that could likely see an LGBTQ community leader win is the contest for the District 9 seat representing the Mission district. Among those vying to succeed termed out Supervisor Hillary Ronen are queer candidate Jackie Fielder and gay male candidates Trevor Chandler, Stephen Torres, and Michael Petrelis.

Ronen has now dual endorsed Fielder and Torres in the race.

UPDATED 12/5/2023 with early endorsements for Sharon Lai.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Threads @ https://www.threads.net/@matthewbajko

Got a tip on LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail [email protected]

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