Et Tu Elsbernd? Supe Apparently Latest To Enter Jackie Speier Sweepstakes.

Categories: Politics
Sean Elsbernd on Portola.jpg
When Sean Elsbernd had this photo taken, he ostensibly wasn't interested in running for higher office. Now he is. Also, watch out for that truck.
The Chronicle's Marisa Lagos has done a bang-up job handicapping the myriad political possibilities that could result if Rep. Jackie Speier leaves Congress to run for Attorney General -- a scenario that conjures up imagery of a stick of dynamite being tossed into a fish-packing plant. Lots of bodies would be moving every which way there, too. And let's not mention the easily made "fishy" jokes.

Essentially, if Speier steps down, a number of local politicians would be interested in stepping up -- and their offices would have to be filled by a lower rung of striving pols and a lower rung and so on until we get down to the dog-catchers. In any event, the latest name floated in connection with this electoral bonanza was very interesting: If Speier leaves Congress, and if Assemblywoman Fiona Ma sets her sights on Washington*, then Supervisor Sean Elsbernd purportedly has his eye on the Assembly.

Our City Hall sources confirmed this notion, claiming Elsbernd has been phoning around town and trying to lock up endorsements -- which makes it hard to keep secrets. And while Elsbernd told SF Weekly in December that he had no interest in higher office, he told us moments ago that he does now.

"I'm interested. I became interested when I read about Speier's potential run," he confirmed. "In politics, these opportunities come along once in a lifetime." So, according to Elsbernd, on the record, he's only had his eye on higher office since January.

It should be pointed out, by the way, that "tired of politics" and "tired of San Francisco politics" are not synonymous. Warrants mentioning.

Two other names that have come up with regards to a potentially vacated Ma Assembly seat are Supervisors Eric Mar and John Avalos. And, yes, naysayers will probably joke that running for Assembly would be the first thing Mar did on the board. In any event, neither of them has returned our calls. Interestingly if either Mar or Avalos successfully ran for the Assembly, it would drastically alter the composition of the board, as Mayor Gavin Newsom would certainly appoint a politically moderate successor. If Elsbernd departs the board, however, it would not shake up the body's political makeup one iota.

An Elsbernd run for higher office would also be counter-intuitive in that San Francisco politicians don't traditionally go far by alienating and antagonizing labor unions.

"I'm not worried about that. I'll pursue the policies I'll pursue," said Elsbernd of his recent proposed charter amendments that have drawn fire from the SEIU and Transit Workers Union. "If I run, I don't expect the service employees or transit workers to endorse me."

Well, that's a safe bet. Who will endorse Elsbernd? "Hopefully, if I run, the electorate of the 12th Assembly district." As for actual endorsements, he said he'd have something to show us later this week.

*Commenter Paul Hogarth is correct; I've left a step out of this mad scramble of upward mobility. It's not Fiona Ma with her eyes on the nation's capital but State Senator Leland Yee, who might run for Congress; Ma may run for his seat and Elsbernd for hers. That beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two zuzim ...

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