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Politics & Policy

San Francisco supervisor eyes California state Senate seat

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman stands on a city street
Supervisor Raphael Mandelman talks to police and pedestrians outside the Castro Muni Station on June 22, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

A potential succession plan for San Francisco leadership is taking shape as Supervisor Rafael Mandelman organizes a campaign committee for the 11th state Senate district seat for 2028, according to the California Secretary of State website

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who currently occupies that seat, is termed out in 2028 and has launched an exploratory committee for a congressional campaign earlier this year. Wiener has confirmed that he’s interested in running for Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi’s seat in Congress if and when she decides to retire. 

Pelosi stepped down as Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives last year after the midterm elections, when Democrats narrowly lost control of the house. 

“I’ve opened a State Senate account for the year Scott Wiener terms out,” Mandelman told The Standard in a text. “If a State legislative seat were to open before then, I would like to be ready.” 

San Francisco leaders wearing masks stand together.
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, state Senator Scott Wiener and Mayor London Breed tour the new housing complex in San Francisco's Sunnydale neighborhood on Oct. 14, 2021. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Mandelman has represented San Francisco’s District 8, which includes the Castro, Noe Valley and Glen Park, since 2018 after defeating appointed incumbent Jeff Sheehy in a special election. 

He previously served on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, where he was first elected in 2012. He ran against Wiener for Supervisor in 2010, winning second place in that election.

In the ensuing years, Mandelman has come to represent the ideological center on the Board of Supervisors as a strong supporter of labor and civil rights while also advocating for more housing development and stronger responses to the city’s behavioral health issues

The supervisor’s future political plans appear to run parallel with Wiener’s. 

Wiener told The Standard in March that “I am and will continue to be grateful to have [Pelosi] as my representative in Congress for as long as she is willing to serve.” 

He added, “I’m exploring my options for a potential Congressional run in the event she decides to step down.”