Apr 5, 2024 - News

Supervisor Aaron Peskin to run for San Francisco mayor

Photo of Aaron Peskin speaking from a podium at a news conference

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin speaks at an event last June. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin has confirmed he will run for mayor, joining a crowded race of candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Mayor London Breed.

Why it matters: Breed faces a tough re-election bid this November, according to a February poll commissioned by the San Francisco Chronicle that showed 42% of San Francisco voters strongly disapproved of her performance as mayor.

  • In addition to Peskin, Breed will have to fend off competition from philanthropist Daniel Lurie, Supervisor Ahsha SafaĆ­ and former interim Mayor Mark Farrell.

State of play: Peskin, the sitting president of the Board of Supervisors, has increased his criticism of Breed in recent years and has often traded barbs with the mayor.

  • Peskin is serving his fifth non-consecutive term on the board and currently represents District 3, which includes North Beach, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square and the Financial District.
  • Peskin told Axios he believes in forging compromise and consensus to "move large and small pieces of policy forward."
  • He has pushed for eviction control and supports building a joint drug market command center to help provide treatment slots. He also plans to prioritize housing development efforts for lower-income households via revenue bond financing.

What they're saying: In an interview with Axios on Thursday, Peskin slammed Breed's handling of the city's crises with drug abuse and homelessness, calling it haphazard and inconsistent.

  • "The mayor believes in a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas I believe that the archipelago of neighborhoods and cultural districts that makes San Francisco so rich need to be treated carefully," he said, pointing to their differences on housing.

Friction point: The two faced off this year after Breed vetoed Peskin's housing bill, which would impose density limits in select historic districts based on recommendations from the city's Planning Department.

  • Supported by local housing activist groups, she had written in her veto message that the legislation would be a setback for the city's housing production goals.
  • The Board of Supervisors ultimately overturned her veto, with Peskin accusing Breed of prioritizing politics over policy.

Yes, but: The outcome of the March primary appeared to show a shift toward policies and candidates historically considered more moderate.

  • Breed's campaign spokesman, Joe Arellano, was dismissive of Peskin's views of housing, saying in a written statement he "is synonymous with intimidation, obstruction, and dysfunction."

What's next: Peskin is expected to formally announce his campaign on Saturday at a kickoff event in Chinatown.


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