SPECIAL SERIES : 2003 Municipal Election
Divided Left Leaves Ammiano Out
Ammiano fails to make the December runoff.
November 4, 2003 9:52 PM
Tom Ammiano's second attempt to become mayor of San Francisco fell short on Tuesday--he received only 10.5 percent of votes, not enough to earn him a spot in December's runoff. However, Ammiano plans to continue working in public service.
“Well, we're just a little bit, I guess the word is disappointed, however, some of the propositions we supported really look good. I think a lot of our ideas that are going to shape San Francisco have succeeded. I think that's really important,” he said.
Asked how he thought a runoff between Green Party candidate Matt Gonzales and Gavin Newsom would go, Amminano remained uncommitted.
“I think that's going to be a very interesting and quite a challenge for the city. Hopefully it will result in a very positive change for San Francisco.”
Ammiano, 61, based his campaign on improving public schools, ending governmental corruption, securing funds to make transportation accessible and making housing more affordable.
When Democrat Ammiano became a mayoral write-in candidate in 1999, he received a surprising 49,000 votes, which showed there was an increasing progressive majority in San Francisco, according to Ammiano’s Web site.
Ammiano campaign manager Hunter Cutting said he felt that the poor showing at the polls for Ammiano was mainly due to lack of coherence among the progressive candidates.
“The numbers show that the left is very, very divided in San Francisco, there is no unity and that there was a dogfight among the candidates and the challenge ahead of us is to get some unity going into the runoff.”
Cutting added that Ammiano was not ready yet to endorse any candidate.
“That's up to Tom. I think right now he's got some thinking ahead of him about what to do.”
Currently a San Francisco Supervisor, Ammiano wrote San Francisco’s breakthrough Domestic Partners Law, which legally recognized civil rights issues for gays and lesbians. Ammiano was first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1994; his term will end in January 2005.
"I love this city. I’ve been involved in city politics for 40 years, mostly as an activist,” said Ammiano during a previous interview with [X]press Online. “The very next step is the mayor’s office so I could bring all this experience, as a real person in a real world to the mayor’s office."
Ammiano has served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for eight years and before that, the Board of Education for four years. Ammiano, a stand-up comic since 1980, has a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Seton College and a master’s degree in special education from SF State.
Even though Ammiano didn’t win the mayoral race, he plans to continue as a San Francisco supervisor.
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