June Special Election Puts District 5 In Political Spotlight

Photo: London Breed/Facebook
By Camden Avery - Published on December 19, 2017.

After Mayor Ed Lee's sudden death last week and the immediate appointment of Supervisor London Breed as Acting Mayor, District 5's political landscape has shifted considerably.

Today, Breed is President of the Board of Supervisors and Acting Mayor; unless the other supervisors vote to select someone else, she'll serve as the city's chief executive until a special election on June 5, 2018. At that point, residents will elect a new mayor to complete the remainder of Lee's term.

Breed hadn't declared her intentions to run for the office before Lee's passing, and still hasn't indicated whether she plans to run in the special election, but the deadline for entering isn't until January 9th.

James Sword, a member of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council's board of directors, said he hoped Breed continues to advance some of the housing affordability measures Lee prioritized.

"While our political views often differed," Sword said, "we recognize [Lee's] life's dedication to serving the residents of San Francisco. We look forward to the possible affordable housing legacy he has left our neighborhood."

That legacy includes, most prominently, the work done in concert with Breed to secure the Upper Haight McDonald's site to develop as affordable housing.

"It is too soon to see the impact of Mayor Breed's move on District 5," Cole Valley Improvement Association President Cathy Haller told Hoodline, "but we will fully support London Breed and her staff in any way we can during this time."

Dean Preston, a tenants' rights attorney who ran against Breed in last year's supervisor race, said she has a responsibility to state her intentions soon.

"It’s important for D5 residents that we have a supervisor," he said via email. "If London Breed intends to remain Acting Mayor for a while, she should appoint a new D5 Supervisor to take her place as soon as possible."

Although Preston said he has no plans to run for mayor, he will "wait to see whether there is a special election for D5 Supervisor before deciding whether to run for that."

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