Special interests are starting to throw their weight around in the District 4 supervisor race, with a labor-backed committee spending big to help re-elect incumbent Supervisor Gordon Mar.
The committee—called San Francisco Labor Council Labor & Neighbor Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee, or Labor Neighbor for short—has spent over $121,000 supporting Mar, and another $46,000 opposing his challenger and fundraising leader Joel Engardio, according to data from the SF Ethics Commission.
Engardio, the executive director of Stop Crime SF, has received $402,058, compared with incumbent Mar at $303,268, according to each candidate’s most recent filing. That includes money each campaign has raised as well as public financing funds. Endardio’s filing was submitted on Oct. 10 and Mar’s on Oct. 11. Mar has so far outspent Engardio—the incumbent reports $254,064 in spending to date, including a 17,000-piece direct mail campaign touting increased police foot patrols and supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, among other topics.
Engardio has spent $221,820 so far, including $22,271 on a direct mailer highlighting his background and positions on education, public safety and housing, including his role in the successful recall of three school board members, which had significant support in the Sunset.
The Labor Neighbor expenditures include nearly $34,000 on mailers attacking Engardio, with remaining funds going to polling, postcard mailers supporting Mar in both English and Chinese, and a field and phone-banking campaign.
One mailer, which hit Sunset mailboxes in early October, included the claim that Engardio “lived in (District 4) just ONE MONTH before running for supervisor.”
Engardio became a District 4 resident last April, when the city’s redistricting process moved his longtime Lakeshore residence out of District 7 and into D4.
“It's misleading. I've lived in my house for eight years,” Engardio said. “I actually live pretty close to Gordon Mar. He's on the southern edge of District 4, and I'm just on the other side of Sloat (Boulevard).”
Labor Neighbor also spent $111,444 to support Mar’s election in 2018.
Meanwhile, the moderate group GrowSF has spent close to $36,000 on online ads and Chinese-language newspaper ads promoting their endorsement of Engardio, according to the SF Ethics Commission.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Joel Engardio's position at Stop Crime SF.