By Luke Thomas
June 28, 2011
With much fanfare, Captain Paul Miyamoto officially kicked off his campaign for Sheriff today on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.
The fifteen-year Sheriff’s Department veteran, native San Franciscan and father of five (including triplets), was joined by his family and friends, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, former State Senator Quentin Kopp, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, former Department of Emergency Management Director Vicki Hennessy, the White Crane Lion Dancers – and as many as 200 placard-wielding supporters under an unusually sodden June sky.
Casting his candidacy as a choice between “experience and politics,” Miyamoto, 44, told FCJ: “I am running for the department for all the people you see here right now, for my family and friends, for everybody that’s been a part of my life. The depth of experience I have in this department in carrying out the Sheriff’s vision for the past 15 years and sharing that vision and wanting to bring it to the next level, I think that’s one of the things that will separate me from [fellow candidate, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi].”
“I’m obviously not a politician, so I don’t bring any political baggage to the job,” Miyamoto added. “I’m not going to use this job as a soap box or a political forum.”
A favorite amongst the rank and file to lead the Department after Sheriff Michael Hennessey retires in January, Miyamoto garnered an almost unanimous endorsement from the 800-member sheriff’s union on June 16. Fellow candidate and past union president, Deputy Sheriff David Wong, received 11 votes. Though he received just two votes, Mirkarimi has at least one ace up his sleeve: Hennessey’s endorsement.
Mirkarimi was previously considered the early frontrunner in the ranked-choice contest. With a union behind him, Miyamoto’s candidacy is expected to make the race for San Francisco Sheriff a lot more competitive and interesting.