It's been an open secret for over a year that Mission/Bernal Supervisor David Campos intends to run for the California State Assembly in 2014, attempting to follow the footsteps former District 9 Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who will be termed-out of his Assembly seat next cycle.
Campos has been steadily building up his campaign operation this year, despite running unopposed for a second term as Supervisor. Campos has reportedly raised $79,823 this election cycle, almost triple the $28,330 he raised in his hotly contested 2008 campaign. He even brought on political consultant Jim Stearns—who runs Ammiano's Assembly campaigns—to help manage his uncontested Supervisor race. Stearns himself admits to Mission Local the campaign is little more than a PR campaign designed to “expand his base”:
A strong campaign is also a way for Campos to promote himself and his accomplishments. “He wants to communicate some of the things he’s got done and some of the things he wants to do,” says Jim Stearns, Campos’ consultant on both campaigns and president of Stearns Consulting.
Inspiring and organizing volunteers has been one of Campos’ strengths as a politician from the first campaign, says Stearns. A large part of the fundraising effort is an attempt to “expand his base” throughout the Mission and the city at large, especially given the recent addition of part of the Portola neighborhood to the district.
However, for all the fawning reportage Mission Local does on our Supervisor, they neglect to hold him accountable for the likely fallout of his own ambition.
One only has to look at the mess in District 5 to get a preview of what could very-well happen here. If Campos is elected to higher office, then Mayor Ed Lee will be responsible for appointing someone to fill the seat. But unlike the 10 months District 5 Lee-appointee Christina Olague had with her constituents before an election, Lee's appointee in District 9 would have nearly two years to build roots and establish credibility—providing a solid incumbent advantage going into the election.
Considering how many of Olague's votes are out of step with her predecessor's—and therefore her constituent's—views, one can only imagine what an Ed Lee appointee would mean for the future of District 9's proud progressive bent.
Many wonks are unsure who Lee might pick to lead District 9 forward, but the smart money is on Gillian Gillett, former legislative aid to Supervisor Scott Wiener and Ed Lee's Director of Transportation Policy. Alternatively, but seemingly less likely, Mayor Lee could have someone from outside the District move in over the next year or two, thus allowing him to appoint whomever he wishes.
How does Campos feel about the future of his District? Since he's running unopposed, we're left to assume it's the canned response for which he's famous—no comment.