State Senate Race Gets Interesting With Candidacy of Jane Kim

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim officially announced her candidacy for state senate this morning, pitting herself against fellow candidate and city supe Scott Wiener. Both are vying for Sen. Mark Leno’s District 11 seat, which includes San Francisco and northern San Mateo County. (Leno will term out in 2016.)

[jump] In announcing her candidacy, Kim presented herself as a champion of low- and middle-income families, highlighting her record of raising minimum wage, expanding affordable housing mandates, and shepherding a slate of tenant protections.

“Housing the homeless, building more affordable housing, creating good paying jobs, relieving traffic gridlock, and providing educational opportunities are all statewide issues,” Kim said in her statement.

Supervisor Wiener, who launched his senate bid in July, said he welcomes Kim to the race. But Maggie Muir, Wiener’s campaign manager, told the Examiner that Kim is “behind the eight ball” since Wiener has reportedly amassed close to half a million dollars in contributions.

Aside from money, Wiener is also pulling ahead in endorsements: Sen. Mark Leno, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Assemblyman David Chiu, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and District Attorney George Gascon have all endorsed Wiener, as have supervisors London Breed, Julie Christensen, Mark Farrell, and Katy Tang. A number of San Mateo County politicos and labor unions are also backing Wiener.

Still, the election is a year away, and Kim is widely considered the progressive counterpoint to Wiener’s more moderate record. Kim has endorsed Aaron Peskin in the District 3 supervisor race, for example, while Wiener supports Mayor Lee’s hand-picked darling Julie Christensen.

Last week, after Christensen accused Kim of concocting eviction “horror stories,” the latter coined a hashtag, #DearJulieImReal, that offered evicted tenants a platform to share their stories.

The state senate contest is now far more interesting than the sleepwalk passing for San Francisco's mayoral race.  

View Comments