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Effort to choose new mayor includes social network

SF Public Press
 — Dec 6 2010 - 4:20pm

UPDATE: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano issued a statement saying he will not accept any nomination to be interim San Francisco mayor, according to SF Weekly.

San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly is using Web 2.0 technology to press a former colleague into making a bid for the mayor's office.

Daly posted a petition on the Change.org social network site to draft Assemblyman Tom Ammiano into seeking the mayor’s office that Gavin Newsom’s election to lieutenant governor will leave vacant.

More than 110 people, including Daly, have signed the petition since it was posted on Wednesday.

"We need someone who loves San Francisco and all of our diversity," Daly wrote on the petition addressed to Ammiano. "Now more than ever, we need experience, ingenuity, integrity and compassion."

Daly cited numerous reasons why Ammiano should take the mayor's office when Newsom leaves on Jan. 3.

"Tom has spearheaded many things that made the current mayor successful and popular," including the city's universal health care program, Daly said in a phone interview. He also believes that Ammiano's championing for the LGBT community, tenants, immigrants and poor and homeless people, as well as his service as a teacher, school board member and supervisor, makes him the best choice.

Ammiano was re-elected to the state Assembly last month with 83 percent of the vote. Previously, he ran for mayor twice, including a write-in campaign that forced a run-off against incumbent Willie Brown in 1999.

Daly said he hasn't heard from Ammiano directly, although many people have told him that Ammiano is aware of the effort. Quintin Mecke, a spokesperson in Ammiano's district office, declined to comment.

On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will start hearing the cases of would-be successors who wish to serve out the final year of Newsom's term. Almost two weeks ago the board unanimously agreed to a public nomination process where a candidate can be selected with the votes of at least six supervisors.

Although official nominations haven't been made, the Chronicle has said potential candidates include Brown and Public Utilities Commission director Ed Harrington.

Even if Ammiano doesn't accept, Daly said there are plenty of qualified candidates.

"The good news is that we have a lot of good candidates," he said. Among those he cited were board President David Chiu; Supervisors David Campos, John Avalos, Ross Mirkarimi and Eric Mar and school board members Sandra Fewer and Jane Kim. Sheriff Michael Hennessey, former mayor Art Agnos and ex-Supervisor Aaron Peskin were mentioned as possible "caretaker" mayors.

"There's a bunch of names," Daly said. "I probably have the biggest list."