Gonzalez enters runoff for Mayor of San FranciscoSan Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, one of the nation's highest-ranking elected Greens, turned a whirlwind two-month campaign into a runoff finish in the San Francisco mayor's race Nov. 4.
Green Focus staff report
Ed. Note: As this issue goes to press, the result of the December 9 mayoral runoff election in San Francisco is not known.
Gonzalez, who garnered 35,753 votes totaling 20 percent of San Francisco voters, entered the race in August. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown's hand-picked successor, conservative Democrat Gavin Newsom, had been campaigning for the mayor's post for nearly two years and had spent as much as $2 million to win the mayor's seat.
The San Francisco mayoral runoff election between Gonzalez and Newsom is Dec. 9.
A 38-year-old Stanford educated lawyer, Gonzalez would be the first Green mayor of a large metropolitan city should he win the runoff election against Newsom.
"We're going to win this race," Gonzalez told the Associated Press after the election results were tallied. "(Gavin Newsom) is someone who has been running for two years and has spent more than $2 million. We have been in the race for 90 days and have spent maybe $100,000-150,000." Among the nine mayoral candidates, Angela Alioto, 54, a civil rights lawyer and daughter of former Mayor Joseph Alioto, finished third with 16 percent of the vote. Long-time Supervisor Tom Ammiano, 61, who would have been the city's first openly gay mayor, was fourth with 11 percent.
Candidate Matt Gonzalez addresses campaign workers four days before winning a spot in the San francisco mayoral runoff.
Gonzalez, Alioto, Ammiano and San Francisco Treasurer Susan Leal appeared to split the city's progressive vote, and their supporters were expected to coalesce around the progressive Gonzalez rather than switch to the conservative Newsom.
The progessive San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly has already published an editorial calling for the progressives to unite behind Gonzalez. Under the headline, "Support Gonzalez, Now," the Guardian wrote, "The strong showing by Supervisor Matt Gonzalez in the Nov. 4th election sets up a runoff for the ages, pitting a rising star of local progressive politics against the heir to the corrupt old Democratic Party machine headed by Mayor Willie Brown." The runoff race pits substance against flash. Gonzalez, a former public defender, is a Green Party leader and an unabashed progressive who pulled together a coalition of young voters, renters and progressives under an issues-based campaign to make his way into the runoff. The well-coiffed and Armani-suited Newsom, 36, is the darling of both the San Francisco business establishment and the Democratic Party machine that propelled Brown to two terms as mayor.
"Matt won't be beholden to anyone, and Gavin already is, as evidenced by his relationship with Mayor Willie Brown," Gonzalez campaign spokesman Ross Mirkarimi told the San Francisco Chronicle during their post-election coverage. "He's part of the privileged class, which detaches him from the pulse of the city's electorate."
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