D1’s Top Contenders Party in the Richmond

by Lorraine Sanders on November 3, 2004

By midnight last night, McGoldrick led challenger Lillian Sing 42 percent to 30 percent, respectively. Determining the final results under the city’s new Ranked Choice Voting system could take days, but supporters for the top two contenders in the D1 race remained upbeat last night. If you judged D1’s candidates by their election night parties, incumbent Supervisor Jake McGoldrick would have won hands down.

Already rocking by 8:30 p.m., McGoldrick’s Clement St. headquarters was crammed. Supporters filled their plates with finger food, lingered around the keg and chatted excitedly with other attendees. Banners welcomed McGoldrick supporters SEIU 790, SEIU 250 and San Francisco firefighters. The atmosphere was festive, and the attendees were optimistic about their candidate’s impending win.

The Sierra Club’s support for McGoldrick gave his campaign and last night’s party a welcome boost.

“I originally came because it’s my job,” said Sierra Club Conservation Organizer Cathleen Sullivan of her reasons for supporting McGoldrick’s campaign. “But as I’ve worked on the campaign more, I’ve realized that Jake is a the type of person you want to have in City Hall.”

Along with McGoldrick’s support for many Sierra Club causes, Sullivan said it was his personality that finally convinced her he was the right man to lead D1.

“He will always give us a fair hearing. He will take all sides into consideration, as opposed to being a rubber stamp for one constituency or another,” she said.

Annette Pirrone, a 20-year D1 resident and longtime Sierra Club member, said her support for the incumbent grew out of her concerns about the environment. But Pirrone also expressed disappointment with challenger Judge Lillian Sing’s campaign and character.

“She’s really underhanded. She’s run a very tacky campaign that I would imagine most people would see through,” Pirrone said.

Personalities aside, Clayton Mansfield, the Sierra Club’s San Francisco group vice chairman, said that McGoldrick had run the best local campaign he’s seen since Art Agnos.

“This is one of the best run campaigns I’ve ever seen in terms of the way it was organized, the volunteers, and I’ve worked on campaigns,” Mansfield said.

Meanwhile, Judge Lillian Sing and her supporters gathered just a few blocks away at Chiu’s Cafe on Balboa St. The party was not as boisterous as McGoldrick’s, but by 9:45 p.m., most attendees were more interested in the state and national election results coming in than making merry.

While KTSF Channel 26 interviewed Sing, supporters crowded around the television screen and enjoyed food from the Chinese buffet.

Jeff Jones, a D1 resident who managed Sing’s volunteers during the campaign, said Sing’s humility and sensitivity convinced him that she was the best person to lead his neighborhood. One day Jones, who lives a block or two from Sing’s Balboa St. headquarters, walked into Sing’s office and asked her about her campaign. It didn’t take long to gain his support.

“I’ve come to know her over the last five months, and I see her integrity. She was willing to embrace help from anyone who would offer it. I love her for her honesty,” Jones said.

Stan Karwowski, another D1 resident and campaign volunteer, also decided to support Sing after talking to her about renters’ rights and support for neighborhood seniors. Karwowski, who is retired, said he waited for McGoldrick to do something to lower the number of renters in D1, but nothing happened. He hopes Sing will give renters and seniors the attention they deserve.

For Sonia Chuang, Sing’s ethical backbone makes her the clear choice for D1 supervisor.

“She stands up for what she believes in. She has good moral standards from being a judge for so long,” Chuang said.

As for the remaining candidates in the D1 race, Leanna Dawydiak was the only one to publicly announce an election night gathering. Held at her California St. headquarters the California Grind coffee shop, Dawydiak’s gathering had drawn few attendees by 9 p.m. Matt Tuchow, David Heller, Rose Tsai and Jeffrey Freebairn did not appear to have public election night events.

At press time, McGoldrick led the pack with 42 percent of the vote. Sing had 30 percent. Tuchow garnered just over 10 percent, while Heller, Tsai, Dawydiak and Freebairn each took less than 10 percent of the vote.

You can reach Lorraine at lorraine@lorrainesanders.com.

Filed under: Bay Area / California