Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Rosenthal eyes 2010 run in D8

She may have been defeated at the polls Tuesday, but don’t count out Alix Rosenthal. She will be one to watch to replace Supervisor Bevan Dufty when he is termed out of his District 8 seat in four years.

Although she only garnered 30 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, her actual vote count of 5,747 in unofficial returns Wednesday was more than District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly received. Daly, who pulled in 5,471 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting, was waiting to learn if he indeed had won re-election. Daly had 49.7 percent of the vote, just shy of the majority he needed to win outright and the final count will be determined through the city’s instant runoff voting system.

The title of the Bay Guardian’s blog post about Rosenthal’s election night party pretty much sums up her future election plans: “Three years 364 days and counting.”

“It is definitely more of a beginning than an ending. I had always wanted to run for office and I was glad to learn that it suits me,” Rosenthal told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday afternoon. “I am very seriously thinking about running again in four years. I plan on staying active in District 8 and my neighborhood and the themes I campaigned on.”

Her friends who have mounted their own campaigns in the past warned her, she said, that it can be a grueling experience. For Rosenthal, the opposite turned out to be true.

“I loved meeting the people of District 8 and talking to them about how their city government is succeeding and failing and what we can do together to solve their issues,” said Rosenthal, who jets off Sunday with her domestic partner, Bay Guardian city editor Steven T. Jones, for a week’s respite in Hawaii’s Waikiki resort area on the island of Oahu. “I loved the campaign. I had a good time. That was a big surprise to me, that I actually loved campaigning.”

Rosenthal, an assistant Oakland city attorney, was always considered the underdog in the race with a slim chance of winning. Her biggest hurdle – being a straight woman vying for a seat held by gay men for years in a district with the largest percentage of LGBT voters in the city. She’ll face the same issue if she does enter the race in 2010.

She also never fully recovered from her comments about being a “freak” in her first interview as a candidate in the race and a photo of her in Burning Man garb that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle last year. Stung by criticism for using the term to also describe District 8 residents, Rosenthal censored herself from repeating it again in the campaign and even went so far as to use a picture of herself as a squeaky-clean 20-something White House intern with former President Bill Clinton in mailers sent to voters just weeks before election day.

“Everybody I know has multiple sides to their personality. I am both a former White House intern and a Burner. I have many facets, like most people,” she said. “Most politicians only let you see the squeaky-clean image of themselves and a very polished image, that is disappointing to me in politics. It is the reason why we get such boring people in public office.”

It also didn’t help that she entered the race late and was hampered by a lack of name recognition, few endorsements from officeholders who had already lined up behind Dufty, and little time to raise enough money to mount a full throttled campaign against a popular incumbent whose “pothole politics” Rosenthal tried to use against him. In the end, Dufty’s attention to the needs of his constituents cemented his victory in the race, especially in the Noe Valley and Glen Park sections of his district.

“I knew we had an uphill battle from the very beginning,” she said. “Bevan had almost every elected official endorse him before I got into the race and that was a serious disadvantage.”

Unlike four years ago, when Eileen Hansen was defeated by Dufty in her second unsuccessful bid for the supervisor seat and disappeared from public view until late last year when she joined the Ethics Commission and pledged not to run again, Rosenthal said Wednesday that she plans to stay involved in the district and challenged Mayor Gavin Newsom to appoint her to the task force he and Dufty have formed to look at how to change Halloween in 2007. Rosenthal criticized the plans pushed by Dufty to scale down the event this year as “too little too late” and would like to see the party have a more celebratory tone as opposed to a police state feel.

“I would love it if the mayor would appoint me to the Halloween task force. I put a lot of thought into the issue and I probably talked to more people in District 8 about Halloween than anyone else except perhaps Supervisor Dufty,” she said. “I plan to be involved in the Halloween issue in moving forward.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 8, 2006 @ 4:23 pm PST
Filed under: News

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