Avalos Confirms Bid for Mayor

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on April 18, 2011 with 11 Comments

District 11 Supervisor John Avalos will file papers today at the Department of Elections formally declaring his bid for Mayor of San Francisco. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

April 18, 2011

Ending weeks of anticipation and speculation, District 11 Supervisor John Avalos confirmed last eve he is running for Mayor of San Francisco.

“True. 4 pm today, my wife and I will go to the DoE (Department of Elections) to pull papers,” Avalos, a progressive, wrote via text this morning.

“It was a decision that I could not make alone,” Avalos added in a statement. “And I am in awe of the commitment of my citywide community and their trust in me. I have a burning desire to make this great city an even better place, and I am going to bring this passion to the office of Mayor.”

It is the first second time Ranked Choice Voting will be used to decide a mayor’s race in San Francisco, an instant runoff voting system that can be used to tip the scales in favor of those candidates that employ a ranked choice strategy with other like-minded candidates.

Janet Reilly, who was the clear frontrunner in last year’s race for District 2 Supervisor and won the most first place votes in the first round, lost in the end to Supervisor Mark Farrell who, with other candidates in the race, employed an “Anybody but Reilly” campaign strategy.  District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who employed a ranked choice voting strategy with fellow candidate Eric Smith, similarly came from behind to defeat first-round vote victor Tony Kelly Lynette Sweet. A similar outcome prevailed in last year’s Oakland race for mayor which saw Mayor Jean Quan come from behind to defeat first-round vote victor Don Perata.

Though he is running as a progressive, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is unlikely to be approached by Avalos for co-endorsement talks.  Chiu, who was elected District 3 Supervisor in 2008 largely due to progressive support, turned his back on the progressive movement in January when he voted for establishment favorite Ed Lee over Sheriff Michael Hennessey for interim mayor.  Though not officially declared, it is rumored former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez and Public Defender Jeff Adachi may enter the race, providing the progressive movement a formidable ranked-choice bloc against the more financially entrenched candidatures of Senator Leland Yee, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Assessor Phil Ting and former Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Michela Alioto-Pier.

Public financing is also available in this year’s mayor’s race to those candidates who meet certain fundraising thresholds.

“I am proud of my tenure on the Board of Supervisors, where I have promoted greater integrity within city government,” Avalos said. “I am also proud of my work creating local jobs and bringing fiscal responsibility to the budget process. As mayor I am going to work for every neighborhood, fight for working families and struggling communities and put together an administration whose talents will bring out the best of San Francisco.”

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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  • Eric Brooks

    Well done John.

    Was hoping you would do it.

    All the way to Mount Doom…

  • marc

    For What It’s Worth…



  • Having 3 Progs is crucial,

    And, I think the leading Progs are Gonzalez and Adachi no matter what the unions say. I’d urge the Left to not settle for a solitary candidate. I’m anxious to see a couple of polls with John in the race after a month or so.

    That said, congrats to John and to all Progs.

    Go Giants! (won our last three series)


  • Daniele E.

    sigh of relief.

  • Pingback: SF Supervisor John Avalos Running for Mayor | KQED News Fix()

  • Correction: Lynette Sweet had the most first place votes in the 2010 race for District 10 Supervisor before IRV kicked in.

    Thank you, Boe Hayward, for the correction.

  • seej

    I might wake up from my slumber if Adachi got in…boy- would that shake things up.

  • jdjarvis1

    If you want an open honest no smokey backroom deals type of government then you can vote for John.

  • AlbertoAlberto

    Ranked Choice Voting is preparing to deliver to San Francisco a Mayor that a majority of voters did not select, and did not want.

    San Francisco’s Mayor will be elected with a plurality of support, rather than a majority, just like Malia Cohen who won with 4,321 votes from 18,508 voters or 24% support!

    This video explains what happens in SF’s RCV races:

    A Majority Matters.


    After decades of divisiveness and jockeying for ‘power’. I hope all the purported progressive/liberal factions can finally find a way to work together for a common cause.
    Like sand through the hourglass, time has almost run out.

  • Richmondman

    Chris Daly’s former chief of staff would be the same as Chris Daly, without the F-bombs. Avalos voted for the toy ban at McDonald’s, voted to protect illegal immigrant felons, opposes Care Not Cash and sit-lie, opposes pension and health care reforms, and is a leading sponsor of stupid, meaningless Board of Supervisors foreign policy resolutions. He will do everything except address our budget problems.