LOCAL ELECTIONS:
Mayoral Election This Week in San Francisco; 2016 Races Taking Shape in Other Major Cities

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is seeking re-election on November 3, and is expected to easily defeat five challengers.

Mr. Lee was appointed in January 2011 to serve out the term vacated by Gavin Newsom, who was elected lieutenant governor. At the time, he said he would serve as a caretaker, and would not run for the office in the November 2011. However, he changed his mind and ran for the office, easily winning a four-year term.

The five candidates challenging the incumbent are Reed Martin, a technology industry employee who has worked as a designer at iTunes; Amy Farah Weiss, a “sustainability strategist”; Stuart Schuffman, a writer and bartender who calls himself “Broke-Ass Stuart”; Francisco Herrera, a musician and cofounder of the San Francisco Day Labor Program; and Kent Graham, a retired hospital administrator.

“The likelihood that any of these contenders will unseat Lee is virtually nil,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote October 10. “They have taken on a mayor who, despite grumblings about his performance, no politician was willing to challenge.”

In other mayoral election news:

Modesto Mayoral Candidate Urges “Greyhound Therapy” for Panhandlers. Five candidates for mayor of Modesto are on next week’s ballot, and if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off between the top two finishers will be held February 2.

Incumbent Mayor Garrad Marsh, elected in 2012, has the endorsement of The Modesto Bee and has a significant edge in campaign finances.

The most active challenger is City Councilmen Dave Lopez, who opposes a sales tax increase that Mr. Marsh has supported. Mr. Lopez said a top priority will be eliminating panhandling from the city, and he suggested using city funds to pay for bus tickets for out-of-town panhandlers to return to their home cities. “That is going to help development through Greyhound therapy,” he told the Central Valley Business Journal

Former Mayor Carmen Sabatino, a restaurant owner who was charged with corruption during his term in office, also is running. Mr. Sabatino faced a trial for the charges, but a mistrial was declared when the jury could not reach a verdict.

The other candidates are Ted Brandvold, who is an architect, and Armando Arreola, who told The Bee that he is unemployed.

November 2, 2015

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