Nov 14, 2022 - News

Mayor London Breed opposes her extra year in office

Mayor London Breed

Mayor London Breed. Photo: The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

With Proposition H poised to pass, Mayor London Breed is set to stay in office for an extra year.

Yes, but: Breed has opposed the measure from the start.

Context: Prop. H moves the mayoral and other city elections to align with the U.S. presidential election. That means, Breed will be up for re-election in November 2024 instead of 2023.

  • Proponents of the measure say it would increase voter turnout for an important citywide decision. In 2019, for instance, 42% of residents voted in the mayoral election vs. 86% who voted in the 2020 presidential election.
  • The controller's office also estimated that consolidating races would save the city nearly $7 million in 2023 and in subsequent odd-numbered years when an election would have been held.

State of play: Breed told the Chronicle that she worried residents would "ignore local contests" and get "distracted by bigger races" if election years shifted.

  • She also said the changes could delay opportunities for the city to secure funding for improvement projects since residents would move to voting on measures, like infrastructure bonds, every two years.
  • This summer, Breed called Prop. H a ploy by the city's democratic socialists whom she said "want to have more control and power of being able to get their people elected."
  • Supervisor Dean Preston, a democratic socialist, did sponsor the measure, though studies have shown mixed results as to whether even-year elections would result in more moderate or more liberal residents voting.

What they're saying: "People don't want to believe this, but this is a straight-up good government and voter participation measure," Preston told the Chronicle, referring to the city's current system as an "institutionalized form of voter suppression."

The intrigue: Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also supported Prop. H, told Axios there was "one reason and one reason only" for Breed's opposition — political ambition.

  • Peskin reasoned that the mayor may be looking to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate or Congress in 2024, and if the mayor's race happened the same year, she'd have to make a decision between the two routes.
  • "To the extent that she wants to jump to the next thing, she'll have to do it without a parachute," Peskin said.

The other side: Jeff Cretan, spokesperson for the mayor, said the potential of running for national office in 2024 had "zero to do with her opposition" to Prop. H.


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