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Gonzalez: Keeping the mayor's race door wide open

Former San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

May 29, 2007

By all accounts, former Board President Matt Gonzalez is still in the running for the 2007 mayor's race. In a recently prepared interview, published in Beyond Chron, Gonzalez does little to lessen his opponents' fear who view Gonzalez' candidacy as the greatest threat to unseating incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom in November.

What the article clearly says is that Gonzalez is just not ready to be nominated as a candidate at the upcoming June 2nd Progressive Convention.

To wit, Gonzalez said in his interview that he does not believe now is the ideal time for him to enter the race.

"But since I'm doing something else right now, building a progressive law practice, I did not then -- and still in a way -- do not believe this is an ideal time for me to enter another Mayor's race.

"I said very clearly though, that I felt strongly enough that there should be a contested race. And that if no other viable candidate emerged to challenge Newsom, I would consider doing so."

Meanwhile, Gonzalez openly admits to be actively working behind the scenes to secure a Washington D.C. based campaign manager, and testing Westside support levels.

"I've met with folks who worked on the last campaign and with a serious campaign manager based out of Washington D.C., who has won over 50 campaigns including numerous big city mayors races and congressional races, who is interested in working on this race.

"I'm very eager to hear from voters who voted for Newsom 4 years ago. In fact, I've attended a house party in West of Twin Peaks, a neighborhood I lost 4 years ago, and talked with regular voters about what they are thinking. I've been quite impressed with what I've learned."

Though Gonzalez says he will support former Mayor Art Agnos' candidacy, he does not say with absolute certainty that he will stay out of the race should Agnos decide to run.

"I said very clearly though, that I felt strongly enough that there should be a contested race. And that if no other viable candidate emerged to challenge Newsom, I would consider doing so.

"If I have a chance to address the gathering I will be arguing for why former Mayor Art Agnos is my preferred candidate. In many respects he is a perfect contrast to Newsom."

The question then becomes, is Agnos willing to enter the mayor's race knowing that Gonzalez has not ruled out his candidacy, even after Agnos may have begun his campaign?

Agnos, who will not be attending the convention, told Fog City he has not ruled out his candidacy.

"My status right now is that I am not actively seeking it (a nomination), but I am listening and evaluating a number of requests and encouragement that I'm getting and thinking about it as a result of the encouragement from people like Matt Gonzalez and others across the spectrum - actually, not just from the left - and I haven't ruled it out," Agnos said.

"I have not made a final decision as to whether I will be a candidate or not.

"I think the more candidates there are, the better it is for progressive candidates, because under ranked choice it would stimulate a lot of constituencies to go and support their candidates and generate, I think, more excitement and enthusiasm in the race."

When asked if he would still enter the race faced with the prospect of a Gonzalez late entry, Agnos said: "I would be OK with him with running, but I would be very surprised because, I think, if I'm the candidate he will be very active in supporting me - at least that's what he told me."

Art Agnos

Matt Gonzalez was provided an opportunity to comment for this article. He declined our offer to speak on the record.




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