The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club is set to early endorse the re-election bid of gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, a longtime member and former co-chair of the group.
Wiener, who represents San Francisco’s Castro, Diamond Heights, Noe Valley and Glen Park districts at City Hall, was first elected in 2010 and is seeking another 4-year term this November.
So far two people have pulled papers to run against him. According to the city’s Ethics Commission, nudist activist George Davis has filed to run. And local blogger Michael Petrelis, a well-known AIDS and global LGBT rights activist, pulled paperwork from the elections department.
Due to an incident in a bathroom at City Hall, where Petrelis photographed Wiener, he is under a restraining order that requires him to remain 150 feet away from the incumbent lawmaker. It remains unclear how, or if, he would be able to take part in forums and debates in the race.
A formidable campaigner, Wiener at this point is widely considered to be a shoe-in for re-election, despite vocal critics of his upset with his push to ban public nudity in the city and what they see as a lack of attention on the city’s affordable housing crisis, among other issues. Despite years of searching for a well known progressive to run against him, his opponents have yet to field a candidate.
Thus, it came as no surprise that the Alice club, the city’s more moderate LGBT political group, announced today (Thursday, January 30) that its political action committee voted Monday, January 27 to recommend the club early endorse Wiener as its sole endorsee. Under the city’s ranked-choice voting, voters can select up to three candidates in order from first to third.
If no candidate secures 50 plus one percent of the vote, then the candidate with the least votes drops out and their voters’ second choices are tabulated. The system is repeated until a winner emerges.
The Alice membership is set to vote at the club’s February 10th membership meeting to allow for the early endorsement vote. If approved, then the members will vote on the sole endorsement of Wiener at the club’s March 10th membership meeting.
In its email to members, Alice’s board wrote that Wiener “has been active in tackling difficult issues on the Board of Supervisors.” It pointed to his “work aggressively to have MUNI funded, he supports rent control while also looking for ways to increase housing options for individuals and families in the City.”
The email also highlighted Wiener’s fighting to maintain HIV funding levels and securing the funding to widen sidewalks along Castro Street in the heart of the city’s LGBT business district.
And it noted that Wiener “has been active in supporting nightlife, and was the first Supervisor to ever ask the City Economist to conduct a study of the fiscal benefits of city nightlife.”