Luke Thomas at Fog City Journal had it first: Sup Chris Daly's progressive primary for district six didn't work out. But there will be a District Six Symposium at the same place, at the same time. Daly told me that the primary hadn't exactly morphed into the symposium: "I've been planning to do a symposium anyway, and I scheduled it for that day because, well, I had the day free."
He had the day free because his call for a primary among the progressive candidates in the district pretty much collapsed when most of them said they weren't interested. I never quite saw this as working out, but I give Daly credit for trying to do something to prevent the competing progressives from fighting (and wounding) each other and allowing a more moderate candidate to win his seat. In the end, he said, "I'm just one guy, and I didn't have to power to prevent a train wreck."
Of course, a primary battle could have had the opposite effect, stirring up competing negative campaigns. And that's what we simply have to avoid this fall. With ranked-choice voting, Debra Walker, Jane Kim and Jim Meko don't have to run the kinds of campaigns that would cost the district its progressive representation. But if things get nasty, that could easily happen.
In District Five in 2004, the progressive candidates (and lord, there were a lot of them) pretty much all agreed to keep it positive and civil, and it worked. If the D6 symposium can lead to some discussion of how the candidates can work together, it will be worthwhile.
In the end, I supposed it's too much to ask people who have decided they really want to be supervisors to think about the progressive movement first, and their own ambitions second. But they could try.
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