By Luke Thomas
May 31, 2010
Hold on to your nellies, foggers. Rumor has it; former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez is the latest name to be added to a distinguished list of names being considered to occupy Room 200 on an interim basis should Mayor Gavin Newsom win the race for the Office of Lt. Governor in November.
Assuming he wins the race for Lt. Governor, Newsom is expected to be sworn into office Monday, January 3, effectively vacating the office of mayor. Board Prez Chiu would automatically assume the role of acting mayor “until a successor is appointed by the Board of Supervisors,” according to the City charter (Sec. 13.101.5).
Six votes is all that is needed from the Board of Supervisors to appoint an interim mayor (supervisors cannot vote for themselves), a vote that could be put before the Board as early as Tuesday, January 4, one day after Newsom is sworn into office and several days before a new Board is sworn into office.
Progressives currently hold a six-vote majority on the eleven-member Board.
The lefty shortlist includes such Progressive notables as current Board President David Chiu, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, former Board President Aaron Peskin, Supervisors John Avalos, Eric Mar, Ross Mirkarimi, and David Campos, who has an outsider’s chance of gaining acting mayor approval from longtime centrist compadre, Supervisor Bevan Dufty.
There’s good reason Gonzalez is also being considered for the interim post: Gonzalez has the highest vote totals in a race for San Francisco mayor without winning, narrowly losing to Newsom in 2003 with 119,329 votes to Newsom’s 133,546 votes.
Gonzalez declined to comment on the current rumor.
It will be a next to impossible to predict how the Board will ultimately vote come January. There’s just too many ifs, ands, and buts. But one thing is for sure, Newsom is likely to garner more votes from Progressive San Francisco voters in November than he’s ever received before.