By Luke Thomas
December 31, 2010, 2:05 pm.
Board of Supervisors President David Chiu today confirmed a recent rumor suggesting the soon-to-be acting mayor of San Francisco is considering a run for mayor in 2011.
Chiu said he has engaged in discussions about a possible run for mayor with campaign manager Nicole Derse. Derse, you’ll recall, successfully ran Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s 2004 election campaign and worked on the 2008 campaign to elect President Barack Obama.
“A lot of folks have been reaching out to me about a potential (mayoral) campaign,” Chiu told FCJ, adding, “Nicole and I have been friends for years and she reached out to me.”
Derse has not responded to a request seeking comment at the time of publishing.
When asked if he has committed to running for mayor, Chiu said, “Absolutely not.”
On January 3, Mayor Gavin Newsom will assume the Office of Lieutenant Governor whether he is sworn in or not. If the current Board of Supervisors fails to appoint an interim mayor at its final meeting on January 4 (six votes are needed and supervisors cannot vote for themselves), and the new Board fails to appoint an interim mayor on January 8, Chiu would remain acting mayor until a new mayor is elected at large in November.
Such an outcome would provide Chiu with incumbency status, a distinct advantage over a growing list of mayoral contenders that includes City Attorney Dennis Herrera, termed-out Supervisor Bevan Dufty, State Senator Leland Yee and former Supervisor Tony Hall. Though they have not filed as yet, State Senator Mark Leno, Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Michela Alioto-Pier, and former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, are rumored to be considering mayoral candidacies.
Chiu said he would be “surprised” if the current Board of Supervisors does not vote for an interim mayor on January 4 despite Newsom’s threat to delay his swearing in.
“A lot of people are looking at that legal question,” Chiu said, referring to whether Newsom can still claim to be Mayor of San Francisco when his term as Lt. Governor begins on January 3rd. Due to conflict of interest considerations, electeds are barred from holding multiple offices.