Mirkarimi Co-Endorses in D6

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on October 24, 2010 with 11 Comments

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi has co-endorsed Jane Kim (right) and Debra Walker in the race for District 6 Supervisor. Photos by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

October 25, 2010

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi formally announced Saturday he has endorsed two candidates in the race to replace termed out District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly.

An advocate of ranked-choice voting, Mirkarimi said he co-endorsed School Board President Jane Kim and Building Inspections Commissioner Debra Walker. Both Kim and Walker are considered the leading progressive candidates in the race for the open seat.

“The rationale for endorsing two is because I go back many years with both Jane and Debra,” Mirkarimi said. “They’re good people. I’ve worked with them in different capacities and regard both of them very highly. It’s a natural tension point that I know people have been trying to reconcile because they like both of them and I think District 6 would benefit extremely well by either one of them being representatives.”

Mirkarimi made the announcement Saturday afternoon before joining Kim and campaign crews under soggy skies to canvass the District and hand out campaign literature. If asked to do so, Mirkarimi said is he willing to canvass for the Walker campaign as well.

Kim and Mirkarimi are both former Green Party turned Democrat Party registrants.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi canvasses on behalf of Jane Kim.

Ross Mirkarimi with Jane Kim and campaign volunteers.

With just eight-days before voters cast their ballots on November 2, Mirkarimi, who has endorsed Janet Reilly in District 2, Rafael Mandelman in District 8 and Eric Smith in District 10, told FCJ he initially hesitated to endorse in the District 6 race. That hesitation, he said, arose in large part because of a schism that has divided the progressive camp and resulted in negative attacks between Kim and Walker campaign supporters.

Insiders believe the negative campaigning could have been mitigated by an agreed ranked-choice endorsement strategy between Kim and Walker, a strategy that would also help to maximize the probability of holding the District 6 seat in the hands of progressives.

Walker, who was the only District 6 candidate endorsed by the San Francisco Democratic Party, has refused to endorse any fellow progressive candidates, while Kim, whose overture to Walker for endorsement talks were rebuffed, has co-endorsed Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde and James Keys. Neither Hyde nor Keys are expected to win the contest, but their candidatures and second-place votes are expected to have a significant impact on the final outcome in what is expected to be a close race.

Keys, who is endorsed by Supervisor Daly, has co-endorsed Kim and Walker. Hyde has endorsed Kim (second) and Walker (third).

“I think that’s really unfortunate,” Mirkarimi said, referring to the divisions within the progressive camp, “which is why after a lot of consideration on what I’m going to do in District 6 and, frankly, I thought about not endorsing at all, but I didn’t want any candidates to think I didn’t care, or that I didn’t support them, so that’s why I want to gesture the positive for two people I care about.”

“I think they just need to keep the larger picture in mind and the long view, and that is, progressives should not turn on progressives – and that might be difficult for some pockets of San Francisco’s political veterans,” Mirkarimi added. “I think IRV requires people to work a little bit harder and be a little more imaginative and creative in building and fostering, I think, the kind of commonality amongst candidates who are ultimately competitors to really nurture a process that makes the constituents and the general public feel turned on, not turned off.”

Despite the negative intra-progressive campaigning in the D6 race, Mirkarimi said he remains firmly committed to supporting the expansion of ranked-choice voting to State and Federal elections. “I think IRV (instant runoff voting) is the smart way to go in dealing with a democracy that gets tortured and twisted by special interests and the power of money,” he said.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission Executive Director Theresa Sparks, the presumed “downtown” business interests candidate, has accumulated over $100 thousand in independent expenditures. Walker has accumulated over $70 thousand on behalf of labor groups, while Kim trails both Sparks and Walker with $10 thousand in independent expenditures from a small group that includes former Mayor Willie Brown.

Asked if there would be any lessons learned if District 6 is lost to downtown, Mirkarimi said, “There’s a number of lessons, but I don’t want to talk about losing District 6 right now, because I don’t think we will.”

Editor’s Note: Luke Thomas is a resident and voter in District 6. In the interest of transparency, he has provided photography services to the campaigns of Jane Kim, Jim Meko and Debra Walker.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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