More than a year before he will face the voters in San Francisco’s District 8 to seek a second four-year term, gay Supervisor Scott Wiener is kicking his re-election campaign into gear.
A number of gay nightlife leaders are holding the first major fundraiser for Wiener next week at the Castro gay bar Beaux, which recently re-opened after a major remodel by its new owners. Previously, the Market Street space had been the gay dance club Trigger.
Among those listed as hosts of the casino-themed Monday, October 21 fundraiser, with a suggested donation of $250 for attendees, are Entertainment Commissioner Audrey Joseph; former Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan; Jesse Woodard, owner of gay sports bar Hi Tops; Lookout owner Chris Hastings; Larry Metzger, owner of gay bar the Mix; and Tim Eicher, one of the co-owners of Beaux.
The “know when to hold ‘em” titled fundraiser is aimed at the city’s entertainment industry, which has lauded Wiener for championing nightlife issues since his 2010 election to the seat on the board representing the Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods.
“Scott has shown his support starting just after being elected by ordering the creation of the first economic impact report on SF’s entertainment industry to the addition of a DJ to the list of performers allowed in a Limited Live permitted venue,” wrote Hastings in an emailed invite to the event.
From his push last year to ban public nudity in the city to his legislation this fall to enforce nighttime closure hours at city parks, Wiener has proven to be a lighting rod for criticism among the city’s more progressive camp. His critics are planning to “roast” Wiener at a Monday, October 28 demonstration in front of his Duboce Park home due to his park hours proposal.
But he has also received praise from more moderate voices for his policy proposals. And despite calls to recall him – which went nowhere – and a so far unsuccessful search to find a formidable challenger to run against him, Wiener appears at this point to be the clear frontrunner in the race.
He is getting a boost in visibility this fall from the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, which he used to co-chair. Wiener is featured prominently on the club’s slate card, even though he is not on the ballot this November in the local municipal election.
“Our recent marriage victory at the Supreme Court showed, yet again, that electing Democrats matters! I urge you to vote November 5th,” reads part of the quote from Wiener next to his photo on the flier aimed at LGBT voters.
Apart from if he will face a serious opponent, the other question surrounding Wiener’s re-election is if he will serve out a full second term. He is widely expected in 2016 to seek the seat held by gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who will be termed out of office that December.
The race could be another gay versus gay political match-up, as gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has expressed interest in running for Leno’s seat. Ammiano will be termed out of office next year.