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Lee Changes Tune, Considers Run For San Francisco Mayor

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Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. (SF Gov)

Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has changed his tune on whether he will run for mayor in November, saying Tuesday he is considering a run after months of saying he had no plans to join the race.

Lee, who was named interim mayor in January when former Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected the state’s lieutenant governor, has previously said he wanted to return to his old job as city administrator after his term ends rather than run to stay in the mayor’s office.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

But on Tuesday, following his signing of the city’s budget for the next fiscal year, Lee said talks with some current members of the Board of Supervisors have him reconsidering whether he wants to give up the spot.

“There’s a lot of people talking to me, including members of the Board of Supervisors,” he said.

He declined to identify which supervisors were pushing him to run, and said “it’s not a decision I’ve made at all yet.”

Two current board members—Board President David Chiu and Supervisor John Avalos—are already running for mayor this November, along with state Sen. Leland Yee, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, former supervisors Bevan Dufty, Michela Alioto-Pier and Tony Hall, and venture capitalist Joanna Rees.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has added her voice to the chorus that’s urging Lee to run for a full term in November.

According to KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier, the senator took Lee aside at the White House reception for the Giants earlier this week to make her pitch.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:


Lee reportedly thanked her for her counsel and advice, but stopped short of telling her that he intends to run.

In a statement, Feinstein said San Francisco needs Lee’s “steady leadership and unifying presence in City Hall.”

”What we are seeing her is sort of a signal flare going up, that a lot of the establishment wants Ed Lee to get in the race,” said Matier. “It gives him cover that the big girl back in Washington, the former mayor, the head of the San Francisco delegation wants him to run, it’s like ‘what can I say?’”

Lee said he has also talked to his family about whether they would want to go through four more years of dealing with the long hours and busy schedule required of a mayor.

“I’ve spent some good time with the daughters and wife, talking about what we want to do, and what it means,” he said. “They’ve also been asking how I feel, if I’m healthy, and when I’m going to play another round of golf.”

More than 30,000 people have signed a petition supporting a campaign titled “Run, Ed, Run,” organizers of the campaign said last week.

Lee has until Aug. 12 to decide whether to file papers with the city’s Department of Elections to run for mayor.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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