Marjan Philhour, a Richmond District neighborhood booster, is filing paperwork Wednesday to challenge Supervisor Connie Chan in November 2024.
Philhour is one of three candidates who have officially filed to run for the seat so far: Two other candidates, health care professional Jen Nossokoff and marketing specialist Jeremiah Boehner, filed paperwork over the summer. But Philhour—a small business advocate, former advisor to Mayor London Breed and repeat candidate in the district—is the highest-profile candidate so far.
“Our neighborhood has been on the wrong track under our current district leadership,” Philhour said in an interview, describing November’s race as “the most important election the Richmond District has ever faced.”
Philhour ran for the seat in 2016 and 2020, losing to Chan in the latter year by 123 votes.
But the neighborhood is different now, she said—and not just because of a redistricting last year that brought pockets like the Sea Cliff into the district.
“We didn’t end up where we are overnight, but I think people have finally had enough and that this time it will be different,” Philhour said. “The consequences of ideologically driven local policy are finally affecting more people. People, not just in San Francisco but in Richmond, are fed up.”
Philhour, who was widely expected to run again for the seat, said she’s putting public safety at the heart of her campaign and cited burglaries and break-ins at local businesses, along with high-profile incidents such as a registered sex offender camping outside a school while advertising fentanyl, which infuriated many residents of the neighborhood.
“You can throw out all the crime stats in the world that crime is on the decline, but that is not what our eyes are seeing or what our hearts are feeling,” Philhour said.
Philhour, who has three children and lives in the Outer Richmond neighborhood, cited priorities that line up with members of the Board of Supervisors’ moderate flank: Restoring full staffing to San Francisco police, removing “dangerous” tent encampments, streamlining red tape for small businesses and opposing “misguided” education initiatives such as renaming schools, an effort that the Board of Education paused in 2021 after widespread backlash.
Prevailing political winds, along with redistricting changes, mean that Chan may be vulnerable to a serious challenge. Gordon Mar, a progressive who represented parts of the Sunset District, was defeated by moderate Supervisor Joel Engardio last year. Like Philhour, Engardio ran on a platform emphasizing public safety.
Chan’s seat is one of six Board of Supervisors seats up for grabs in the November 2024 general election.
Annie Gaus can be reached at email@example.com