UC-Hastings-educated, born and bred Frisco native Jackie Speier — currently representing St Francis Wood and nearby environs in the United States Congress — hasn’t said much publicly about her political future. The SF Chronicle has said plenty, however, putting Speier on the short-list to succeed Jerry Brown for attorney general, should Governor Moonbeam Redux slay the eBay Dragon in race for the top job in Sacramento (why anyone would want that is beyond us, but we’ve been scouring Twitter to find out).
As many others before us have pointed out, a game of political dominoes would unfold if Speier left Congress to run for state AG, including, according to the Chronicle, multiple vacancies on the SF Board of Supervisors as several politicos knocked each other over in their mad rush to get the hell out of Dodge. And that mere notion could be moderate political chicanery, intended on removing to “a better place” some solid progressive votes on the Board.
An open seat in Washington could lead to an open seat in the Assembly in Sacramento. According to the Chronicle, SF supervisors seeking the Sac seat will include veteran moderate Sean Elsbernd, and first-term progressives John Avalos and Eric Mar.
This is news to Avalos, who categorically denied any interest in the seat — and denied speaking to the SF Chronicle reporter who wrote the story (“She texted me after she wrote it, asking if there was anything I wanted to add,” he said on Monday. “I said, ‘I want you take something away — I’m not running.'”)
(For those keeping score at home, our dear friends at SF Weekly were first on this one, as they published their post while we were still on the phone with Avalos. “That was fast,” the supervisor said, when told.)
Avalos said he has no idea who could have mentioned to the Chronicle — “twice” — that he had an eye on Assembly. But he does know what could happen if either he or Mar vacated their just-warmed seats: Mayor Gavin Newsom would appoint a successor, and in both districts, a moderate, downtown-friendly mayoral buddy came in second to the progressive. In District 1, Mar beat developer-friendly Sue Lee 11,625 votes to 9,733; in District 11, Avalos beat mayoral-chosen Ahsha Safai by 1,000 votes.
“Am I going to leave my seat so the Mayor can appoint Ahsha Safai? No,” said Avalos, who said he might be interested in the Assembly “in 12 years,” when his son graduates high school.
So this begs the question: who was it that suggested to Chronicle Sacramento bureau reporter Marisa Lagos that Avalos and Mar had their names in the ring? Whoever it was, the plot is foiled: Mar and Avalos are staying put, and in the meantime, Avalos has asked us — politely — to see if two District 11 merchants still flying Ahsha Safai signs will take them down. We’d be happy to do so, for a price (a sandwich).