By Lee Hubbard
The race for the District 5 supervisor seat in San Francisco has brought out a large number of challengers to take on incumbent Supervisor Christina Olague.
Olague was appointed interim supervisor of District 5 in January by Mayor Ed Lee after former supervisor Ross Mirkarimi was sworn in as Sheriff.
Olague was a community organizer with the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition in the 1980s and a long time planning commissioner. Her selection as supervisor by the mayor was seen by some as a way to help him garner progressive support in San Francisco
However, she faces nine other candidates who are vying for the District 5 seat, which represents parts of Lower Pacific Heights, Haight Ashbury, Fillmore, Western Addition and Japan Town.
While Olague is the front-runner, other candidates are picking up traction in the race such as Thea Selby, Andrew Resignato and Hope Johnson.
There are three Black candidates in the race: London Breed, Julian Davis and Daniel Everett.
“District 5 is the most politically progressive district in the city,” said Corey Cook, a political scientist professor at the University of San Francisco. “You would think Olague would have an easy time, but if she is to lose this election, it will either be Davis challenging her from the left or Breed challenging her from the center.
“Julian is very bright, and London has built up an impressive campaign.”
District 5 is the seat Ella Hill Hutch first won when San Francisco went to district elections in the 1970s. According to Cook, Olague has built in advantages as an incumbent, but that the race could go down to the wire.
“As the only native of district 5 running, I know what it takes to make things happen,” said Breed, executive director of the African American Cultural Center, which is in the district.
Breed, 37, grew up in the Plaza East housing development in the Western Addition, spending half of her life living in public housing. She graduated from UC Davis with a political science.
She worked for Mayor Willie Brown, as an intern in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, before taking over as the head of the African American Cultural Center.
Davis is president of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. He graduated from Brown University and earned a law degree at UC Hastings College of Law.
“We are building a grassroots campaign, neighbor to neighbor, block by block and shop by shop,” he said. “People are looking for a person who will keep San Francisco real for everyday people.”
Everett, a defense attorney and host of the radio show “Folk Law,” is a political newcomer. On the campaign trail he says he speaks for the common San Franciscan. He is alarmed about the lack of parking in San Francisco and the excessive fines dealt to drivers.
“It’s an effort by the city to raise revenue off of the backs of people who can afford it the least,” said Everett. “This is a systematic effort to move people out of their cars, which is unfair.”
While the race is just now heating up, Breed has raised almost $100,000 in the and recently received the number one endorsement from the District 5 Democratic club.
Olague is focusing on improving conditions in District 5.
“We are just getting started, regarding getting things done in many of the neighborhoods,” she said. “We want to continue a lot of the work we have done, to make things better in District 5.”