Will Ed Lee Run for Mayor?

Running for mayor is no small feat. It takes endless time, hordes of volunteers, and enormous piles of cash. Just ask Bevan Dufty, who has blown through hundreds of thousands of dollars in nearly two years of running (and who is arguably not one of the two or three frontrunners after all that effort). Or David Chiu, who passed up an offer to become district attorney while earning scorn from progressive kingmakers for supporting Ed Lee for interim mayor. Or Dennis Herrera, whose early fundraising lead may suffer after his campaign consultant, Alex Tourk, resigned last week following allegations of illegal lobbying.

The worst part for Dufty, Chiu, Herrera, and the half-dozen or so other favorites to succeed Lee in the November election? Their chances could turn to dust in an instant should Lee decide to enter the race, as some very special interests are said to want him to do (read: Chinatown power broker Rose Pak and former Mayor Willie Brown, who will stop at next to nothing to defeat state Sen. Leland Yee, the presumed favorite at this early date).

While Lee pledged to be a caretaker mayor and nothing more — "He has no plans to run," mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said last week — there are hints that may change. A petition to draft him is circulating at City Hall, and polling company EMC is calling voters with questions, "seven or eight of which" deal with Lee, including asking voters if they'd favorably view him reversing his pledge. (That's according to voter researcher David Lee, who received one of the calls.) Such measures are expensive — a 10-minute poll like EMC's could run as much as $40,000, consultants say — meaning that powerful, moneyed interests are testing the waters for Ed Lee, and are spending handsomely to do so.

"This race is all about name recognition," David Lee says. And with the bully pulpit of Room 200, Ed Lee has more of that than any of his would-be competitors, many of whom would "be knocked out of the race" upon his entry, according to USF political scientist Corey Cook. This means the current contenders must raise cash and vie for media attention, all while trying to ignore the moneyed incumbent lurking in the shadows.

So will Lee or won't Lee? "That's the million-dollar question," Cook says. And which of the candidates stands to lose the most if he does? "All," Cook says, "because Ed Lee would likely win."

 
My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Briansays
Briansays

this is about the void that preceded him and the dysfunction of liberal governance by the sfbosits sorta nice having an adult in charge isnt it?especially when he is a gradfatherly type that might just as well tell you to eat your vegtables

guest
guest

There's no way he's going to run. His pension, worth north of $200K+/year for the rest of his life, only vests if he continues to work for the city past the end of his current interim mayorship. The deal he struck was that he wouldn't run and they'd put him back in his old job. If he runs and loses, the deal will be off and he'll never get another job in the city since he would have reneged on his promise. He would lose his pension. To buy an annuity similar to his pension would probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million. No way he would risk that.

citizen in the kno
citizen in the kno

Now he will, he is almost be forced too..It becomes a question of honor now!! Also knowing politics if you do not, who's to say you get your job back!!!

John_robert
John_robert

Seems to me the message here is that San Francisco needs a City Manager, not a politician/mayor

Sj
Sj

This is not reporting this is repeating rumors to benefit Lee. Devoid of any facts this should be put in the trash not online.

 
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...