Interim Mayor Ed Lee announced on Monday that he is running for the full four-year term as San Francisco mayor despite promising not to run after filling in the vacancy left by Gavin Newsom, who was elected to Lieutenant Governor last November. There was already an unofficial supposedly grass roots campaign for Lee to break his pledge which I blogged about.
I don’t live in San Francisco, but have been open about always supporting Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. Lee definitely has an advantage as an “incumbent” mayor. Now that Lee has broken his pledge and is entering the arena of elective politics, it’ll be interesting to see he handles the scrutiny and how good of a retail campaigner he is. This morning, before Lee’s official announcement, the local NPR affiliate in San Francisco KQED, featured an interesting discussion about Lee’s entry in the race in their morning Forum radio show.
With ranked choice voting, it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out. One thing for sure though is that it’s pretty amazing that there are FOUR Asian Americans running for Mayor of San Francisco: Ed Lee, David Chiu, Leland Yee and Phil Ting. Only in California, only in San Francisco! Talk about Californian Asian American culture shock!
In the KQED discussion, there was some discussion about “identity politics” and how there might be a challenge of the Asian American candidates and how that might split the Asian vote in San Francisco. Even though San Francisco is over 30% Asian, that means that there are still more non-Asians than Asians. So all of the Asian American candidates need to be open and appeal to all voters in San Francisco, not just Asians.