The Chronicle’s Matier and Ross had to know that their usual City Hall gossip columnizing might not cut it on a day when most of the city’s political gossip swirled around why the paper chose David Chiu as their top pick for mayor. So while the majority of their regular Wednesday feature was focused on the future of the Oakland Raiders (they’re staying, they report), they had only the most slender of SF-specific items:

If the private polls that track these types of contests are to be believed, it’s neck-and-neck in the San Francisco sheriff’s race between Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, sheriff’s Capt. Paul Miyamoto and former police union head Chris Cunnie.

Leaving behind the question on if the polls are believable — all I know is that their administrators call my landline often enough that I’m considering cable internet just to get rid of it — I have to say that I’m just surprised pollsters found enough people who knew a) who these guys were or b) that there was a race for sheriff this year.

It’s true, most of us who think election are thinking about the mayoral race. But there are other things we can be voting for as of yesterday, so let’s take a practice test, shall we? The PSheriff (sorry, no National Merit sashes will be distributed), if you will.

You choices:

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who “has called San Francisco home for 27 years. A graduate of San Francisco’s Police Academy, Ross served nine years as an armed San Francisco District Attorney Investigator. Elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2004, Ross served twice as Chair of the Public Safety Committee and passed landmark community policing, police reform and re-entry legislation. Ross lives in the Western Addition with his wife, Eliana Lopez and their 2-year old son.”

Capt. Paul Miyamoto, “a San Francisco native, with a Chinese-American mother and Japanese-American father. He has served in the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) for 15 years. Throughout his career, Paul has shown a great capacity for leadership. In addition to being a supervisor in the jails, he has served as manager of the training unit, the investigations unit, and the institutional patrol unit at San Francisco General Hospital.” His bio goes on for quite a while after that.

Chris Cunnie, “a twice-decorated police officer who served as head of the Police Officers Association, head of Emergency Communications under Mayor Gavin Newsom, head of Investigations under then District Attorney Kamala Harris and Undersheriff for Sheriff Michael Hennessey.” He, too, has a lengthy bio you can read all of here.

So let’s vote in the Appeal’s own highly unscientific poll to see if M&R’s sources are, as they say, “to be believed.”

Of course, with ranked choice voting, the actual election result possibilities grow far more complex. But the PSAT wasn’t that much like the SAT, either, was it? May the best aspiring sheriff win!

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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