Spanjian out in D-8


Laura Spanjian, a member of the Democratic County Central Committee and candidate for supervisor in District 8, is leaving town for a new job in Houston. That means she's out of the hotly contested race to replace Sup. Bevan Dufty in the Castro.

Spanjian was one of three leading candidates, and her withdrawal means that Rafael Mandelman and Scott Wiener are going to be slugging it out for the job. Rebecca Prozan, who also has Alice support, is also in the race, but I don't see her coming in first.

In a press release sent out this morning, Spanjian said she'd taken a job as sustainability director for the city of Houston. “I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to work directly with Mayor Annise Parker and her staff and contribute to a cleaner environment which is, of course, not just a local issue,” Spanjian's statement read.

Spanjian currently works for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and will leave that job in April to move to Houston.

Before we get into the political calculus, let me stop for a moment and congratulate Laura, who's a good person and will do a great job in Houston (although, Jesus -- she's going to have to live in Houston.)

Now then: With Spanjian out of the race, I think Mandelman is on track to come in first. That doesn't mean he's going to win an election decided by ranked-choice voting, but I think he comes in first.

"Clearly it's a win for Rafael," Jim Stearns, a political consultant who was working for Spanjian, told me today. "Laura was going to go after the more nonideological folks in the district, but she was also going to make a push with the progressives. And now Rafael has the solid progressive base in that district to himself."

That base, though, isn't enough alone to get Mandelman elected. It's going to come down to the second and third votes. And Wiener and Prozan start off competing for a lot of the same voters, but in the end, Mandelman is going to have to get enough of the more centrist folks to at least put him second to finish in the money.





Starchild would have my vote.

It's sad in such a "liberal" town, and such a in "liberal" paper like the Guardian that Starchild is a fringe candidate, when he is the only real liberal in the race.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

Go Scott!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

What happens to the money I and others donated to her campaign?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

What happens to the money she raised?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

Starchild isn't a liberal, he's a libertarian. Big difference. I like the guy, but I believe in government; I think we should tax the rich and feed the poor. He doesn't. He's also against gun control. He has every right to his opinions, and I think he holds them honestly, but I don't share them.

I'm not sure what happens to the money Spanjian raised. I think that she can either donate it to another campaign or to charity.



Posted by tim on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

Just heard from State Sen. Mark Leno, who had until now stayed out of this race because he was close to both Wiener and Spanjian and didn't want to pick one over the other. But now that Spanjian's out, he's endorsing Wiener, which is a boost to Scott. Leno's extremely popular in D-8.

Posted by tim on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

It would make sense that Leno is endorsing Wiener and not Rafael Mandelman, since Carole Migden (who ran against Leno, for those who don't know) has endorsed Rafael. Have to keep that rivalry stuff going, you know.

I read an interview earlier with Rafael Mandelman from the San Francisco Examiner. Here's an excerpt:

"Of the four, Rafael Mandelman has been called the most progressive, a label which could be a badge of honor in a district that includes the gay enclave called The Castro. More on that in a bit....It's at this point I bring up his progressive label, and ask if it's valid. Rafael says he is "existentially moderate", by which he means that he takes each issue, gathers emperical data, evaluates it on its own terms and merits and makes an evidence based decision."

So what he is saying is that true progressives don't "take each issue, gather emperical data, evaluate it on its own terms and merits and make an evidence based decision." That's what he is saying when he says all that. So only "existentially moderates," do that. Got it. What a bunch of bunk.

Like a typical politician, I see he refused to actually answer the question, which was: "is the progressive label valid?" He should have said: "No. I don't want to be called a progressive. I'm trying my best to run away from THAT. Next question." Because that was basically his answer.

A "moderate." Wonderful.

Sigh. I swear, these politicians drive me up the !@#$!#$ wall.

Posted by Sam on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

The "liberals" hate the only real liberal in the race, Sam and Tim are the self appointed "progressives" here and they are angry when real liberalism rears its ugly head.

Obey your masters and pay your taxes so called San Francisco liberals.

Posted by glen matlock` on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

Until you've sweated through a summer there. The toxins are leached out daily, you can drink as much of anything as you want and not not be thirsty, and the noise from the grackles (blackbird-like noisy things in the trees) vies with the noise from the cicadas. More Vietnamese than in any other city in America. A big gay population. And, unlike San Francisco, a gay AND female Mayor.

Houston's looking pretty good right now to me...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2010 @ 5:45 am

I like Laura a lot, but was, and stil am voting for Bill Hemenger. Too bad you didn't even talk about any of the other people running...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2010 @ 6:39 am

Rafael in 2010!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 11:41 am

progressive is such a joke of a moniker. just cause they wear it doesn't mean they live it. i mean, feinstein a democrat? gavin the prince now going moderate? come one! they role play the labels to get elected wherever they've decided to set up shop. i wouldn't be surprised if this spanijan woman suddenly goes for pro-guns, pro-life, and church in schools to fit and possibly make a run for office in Houston eventually. bunch of carpetbagging opportunists.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2010 @ 1:37 pm