Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos told the Guardian last night that he'd welcome the chance to be appointed a “caretaker mayor” for a year if Mayor Gavin Newsom wins his race for lieutenant governor, but he doesn't think he'll get that chance because “I think Gavin's gonna lose.”
Agnos is one of several names that have been bandied about in the discussions of who the Board of Supervisors might appoint as acting mayor for a year if none of the top candidates running for mayor in 2011 – such as Aaron Peskin, Mark Leno, Leland Yee, or Dennis Herrera – are able to get six votes on the board in January 2010, when Newsom would vacate the Mayor's Office if he moves on to Sacramento.
“I'm available, but I don't need it,” Agnos said, noting that he would agree to not run for a full-term in 2011, which would be the main criteria for a caretaker mayor, a concept that would prevent any mayoral candidate from gaining the advantage of incumbency.
But Agnos said that Abel Maldonado, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, will be a tough challenge for Newsom, both because he's a moderate Latino with a compelling personnel story, and because rich Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman will likely give Maldonado all the money and support he needs so she doesn't have a Democratic rival as lieutenant governor.
As Agnos told us, “She will give him whatever he need to bury Newsom.”