Cunnie Enters Race for Sheriff

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on July 18, 2011 with 6 Comments

Former SFPOA President Chris Cunnie (center) with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Supervisor Scott Wiener by his side, today filed papers with San Francisco Department of Elections officially declaring his candidacy for Sherrif. Photos by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

July 18, 2011

Former San Francisco Police Officers Association President Chris Cunnie threw a wrench into the race for sheriff today when he filed to replace retiring Sheriff Michael Hennessey.

With California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Supervisor Scott Weiner by his side, Cunnie said he is running for sheriff because he “feels he is the best candidate right now to come to the table” to address the myriad problems facing the California prison system.

Those problems include prison overcrowding and severe budget cuts which has led to Governor Jerry Brown signing legislation in April mandating the transfer of as many as 1000 inmates from state to municipal prisons.

“We’re entering a new landscape, a new critical time in criminal justice in San Francisco and California,” he said.  “We know that the United States Supreme Court just confirmed what we’ve known for a long time – that the California prison system is broke.”

“What that means is that that problem is going to come right here to our doorstep,” Cunnie added. “This is a time for public safety, community and for the non-profits to come together like we’ve never done before.”

Harris, who employed Cunnie as the department’s Chief of Investigations during her 7-year stint as San Francisco District Attorney before being elected Attorney General, said of Cunnie: “I am standing here today with an incredible amount of pride in support of Chris Cunnie to become the next Sheriff of the City and County of San Francisco. I am certain that we have an incredible opportunity in San Francisco to have a leader who will not only represent San Francisco and its public safety needs, but will represent what it means to do smart criminal justice work, what it means to reforms the criminal justice system in a way that will have an impact throughout the State of California.”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Supervisor Scott Weiner, who is considered a moderate conservative on the Board, said he is supporting Cunnie because, “We need a sheriff who is going to be able to hit the ground running, running this department, and I know Chris will be able to do that.”

Cunnie, a former SFPD officer who also worked as a sheriff in the municipal prison system under Sheriff Hennessey, joins Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and Sheriff’s Captain Paul Miyamoto in the contest.

Mirkarimi, who was previously considered the frontrunner candidate in the race, garnered the early endorsement of retiring Sheriff Hennessey in May. Today, Hennessey indicated he will not dual endorse in the ranked choice race despite a close relationship with Cunnie.

Cunnie told FCJ that in addition to being endorsed by Harris and Weiner, he has or will be endorsed by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco Police Officers Association and the firefighters union.

More Photos

Chris Cunnie and Kamala Harris.

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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  • Erika McDonald

    Cunnie for Sheriff…because San Franciscans love the POA! NOT!
    Mirkarimi will wipe the floor with these hacks.
    Next.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro Ann Garrison

    When Kamala Harris was elected DA, I was trying to explain to people from SoCal that there wasn’t a lot to celebrate there.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro Ann Garrison

    ‘Scuse me; I meant AG. When Kamala Harris was elected Attorney General, I was trying to tell people in SoCal that there wasn’t a lot to celebrate.

  • http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/author/hbrown/ Harold Brown

    How romantic,

    I was in Hennessey’s office a few election cycles back when Mike was running unopposed (like Mick Jagger) and Kamala and Cunnie came through the door in from the rain with their great coats glistening and I looked at them and this song came to mind (keeping in mind that he denies he was her bodyguard – he was ‘chief investigator’ – but he was) … and, as I said, this song came to mind:

    Now that I’ve given you the sweet side, how about asking Cunnie the hard question. Will he throw my grandkids out of the country by reporting them to ICE?

    Will Cunnie ‘opt out’ of ‘Secure Communities’ as Hennessey favors and New York and Mass. and Illinois have?

    Giants up 1-0 in 6th

    Over … Dodgers!

    h

  • sfmike

    That’s a brilliant use of that awful movie “The Bodyguard,” Mr. Brown. Also agree with Ms. Garrison about there being not much reason to celebrate Ms. Harris as DA or AG.

    My real question is, what does the ghastly Supervisor Weiner signify, looming over the chaste, loving couple like Frankenstein?

  • http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/author/hbrown/ Harold Brown

    Oh yeah,

    Someone pointed out to me that Mirkarimi was also an investigator for Kamala Harris.

    h.