| By now, you may have heard that much of San Francisco's political leadership is moving on up in about a month or so. But just how San Francisco moves on from Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris (note: I worked on her campaign, but I have no inside details on this) is still up in the air. The Wall Street Journal has something of a primer on the issues. It's a decent enough start, portraying the various scenarios. For a more entertaining take, watch the Necessary Conversation video on your right. But as somebody who is pretty involved in local politics, these are the decision points, as it were, that I see:
1) When will Gavin Newsom switch gigs?
Officially, Abel Maldonado's term ends on January 3, like all other statewide officers. And that is the date that Gavin Newsom is supposed to be sworn in as LG. However, he is trying to push back that date a few days in order to get his replacement selected by the new Board of Supervisors that is sworn in on Jan 7.
Of course, if he is able to push back his inauguration date, the other thing that would bring him is the ability to appoint the interim DA. He's hinted that he would respect the opinion of Kamala Harris on that pick, but would, if he makes that call, be the one with the final decision on DA.
At this point it isn't totally clear whether he will push the date back, but, legally it looks like he might be able to do it. That has to give it a pretty good chance of happening, I'd say it's a 60% shot now.
2) Does anybody have 6 votes?
That is the big question, and right now, it seems that there are only a few people that could legitimately claim to have those votes. And one of them, Asm. Tom Ammiano, has said that he doesn't want the job. Sup. Chris Daly seems intent on twisting Ammiano's arm into taking the gig. State Sen. Mark Leno would probably have the votes as well, but as he was just appointed Senate Budget Chair, I'm not sure that he would want the gig either. Sen. Leland Yee really, really wants the job, but doesn't have the 6 votes. City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Assessor Phil Ting are also running for mayor, but don't appear to have the 6 votes necessary
Now, if nobody is able to get to 6 votes, the Board President automatically becomes acting mayor. Right now that is Sup. David Chiu. Chiu is also the favorite to retain that position on the new board, and would thus get the mayor's new gig. Now, that wouldn't make him "interim" mayor, but just acting. The big difference is that the acting mayor can be replaced by the board, whereas the interim mayor cannot. Chiu is also rumored to be considering a full run at the Mayor's office if he is named to be interim Mayor. And, running as something of an incumbent, he would at least be in a much stronger position than he is for that right now.
Oh, and just to make things more complicated, there have also been rumors that Chiu is interested in the DA position as well.
3) A care taker?
If the progressive bloc can't get something together to choose an interim mayor, Sheriff Mike Henessey and SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington are rumored "caretaker" Mayors. The election is just 11 months away, so a caretaker mayor would allow the voters to actually choose the next Mayor.
There are really too many variables to consider, but hopefully this flood of information will somewhat valuable as we watch to see the dominoes fall in San Francisco.