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Gay supervisor to run for San Francisco mayor
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Gay supervisor to run for San Francisco mayor

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Openly Gay San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty announced on September 24 that he will run for mayor of San Francisco to succeed Gavin Newsom. He also announced that former Obama aide Steve Hildebrand would advise his campaign.

If elected, Dufty will be the first openly Gay mayor of the city.

Both Dufty and Newsom will be required to vacate their current offices because of California's term-limit laws. Dufty will lose his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in January 2011, and Newsom will have to step down in January 2012.

Because San Francisco has a combined city and county government, the Board of Supervisors does work equivalent to both Seattle's City Council and the King County Council. San Francisco Supervisors are elected by district, with Dufty representing the heavily LGBT Castro district.

Dufty had made no secret of his plans to run for mayor. Although the filing deadline for the office is in August 2011, Dufty said he saw no reason to wait before announcing his decision.

"I am not a coy person. Rather than speculate on it, I am going to go and start working," he told the Bay Area Reporter, the LGBT newspaper in San Francisco.

"Having worked 16 years in city government I have a lot of experience in addressing the day-to-day needs of people in our city," Dufty told the Bay Area Reporter. "I am excited about being a leader of city government and creating a dynamism and responsiveness that will make people proud of their city."

Dufty is serving his second term on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. Prior to his election as supervisor, he was director of Neighborhood Services in Mayor Willie Brown's administration. He also served as a legislative assistant to the late New York Congressperson Shirley Chisholm.

As he did in his campaigns for supervisor, Dufty will limit individual political contributions to $200 from people who either live or work in the city. He also said he would abide by the current spending cap of $1.475 million and would seek public financing.

"I am committed to a grassroots campaign and a low-dollar campaign, which requires a lot of time and shoe leather," he said.

Dufty approached the openly Gay Hildebrand to advise his campaign because he admired the successful grassroots effort Hildebrand put together for President Obama.

"I was drawn to him because of the type of campaign he leads," Dufty said.

On his side, Hildebrand expressed admiration for Dufty's ability.

"In just talking to various folks in the San Francisco area," Hildebrand said, "I know he is very well thought of by a lot of people. He works incredibly hard and has a smart vision for the future of this city. I want to help good people get elected, and I think he is one of the good ones."

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