Ammiano Makes It Runnoff With SF Mayor Jordan FWD

Tom Boland (
Thu, 4 Nov 1999 21:11:44 -0800 (PST)

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San Franciscans and others:

For anti-poverty organizers, what do you think are the lessons of the SF
mayoral runoff?

Is a possible lesson that - elected officials who use police to sweep
homeless people out of downtown to make way for development will face
massive protests and may be defeated in future elections?
FWD  Associated Press - Thursday, Nov. 4, 1999; 8:30 p.m. EST


     By Jordan Lite
     Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- A liberal city supervisor who staged a last-minute
write-in campaign for mayor made it to a runoff against Willie Brown, who
is trying to become the first incumbent in 16 years to win re-election.

Tom Ammiano, who launched his campaign from a juice joint just 20 days
before Tuesday's election, picked up 44,539 votes, or 25 percent, enough to
win a spot in the Dec. 14. runoff. Former Mayor and Police Chief Frank
Jordan was third with 29,987 votes, or 17 percent.

Brown had 67,912 votes, or 39 percent.

Moments after election officials announced the latest vote counts Thursday
afternoon, Ammiano and his supporters gathered on the steps of City Hall.
"Win, Tom, Win," they cheered.

"Here's to a real grass roots effort," said Ammiano, the president of the
Board of Supervisors. "This is quite a victory against corporate

Earlier, Brown complained that Ammiano's late entry had robbed him of an
outright victory and thereby cost taxpayers a lot of money.

"Without Mr. Ammiano in there, I am the mayor of San Francisco as of the
day (of the election) and the citizens would have saved hundreds of
thousands of dollars," Brown said.

Ammiano's response: "You can't really nickle-dime democracy."

Ammiano's network of volunteers spent a mere $20,000, compared to $2.3
million by Brown and $300,000 by Jordan. Ammiano said he planned to run "a
very frugal campaign" for the runoff.

Ammiano, who is gay, draws support from the city's large, politically
active gay community and other liberal activists. He may have a tough time
going one-on-one against Brown, even though the mayor has been criticized
for his handling of transportation, homelessness and other problems.

"There's been a lot of perception of cronyism and back-room deals," Ammiano
said. "I've been more into good government and open government, campaign
reform. I'm not a miracle man but I think continuing in that vein we might
get something."

Brown campaign spokesman P.J. Johnston said the mayor's strategy will be
the same in the runoff.

"He's going to continue to make his case that he's best to run this city,"
Johnston said. "He's brought previously combative forces to work together
and runs this city from the center."


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