Newsmakers with JR
Undeclared (Wink, Wink) Hart Seeks Dem Nod
Extra, Extra! Councilman Gregg Hart hasn’t publicly announced he’s running for 2nd District supervisor yet, but just set up a campaign committee to do so and also will ask for the Democratic Party's endorsement Thursday night.
Not since Salome performed the Dance of the Seven Veils has there been such an anti-climatic tease as Hart has staged about his intention to seek retiring Janet Wolf’s seat.
“He’s interested in running,” said political consultant Mollie Culver who serves as, um, campaign manager for Hart’s not-really-really-really sure act. “He’s very committed to public service,.”
To the surprise of no one, Smilin' Gregg filed forms 410 and 501 at County Clerk Joe Holland’s office last Friday, two state-required documents that allow him to accept campaign contributions. With more than $100,000 cash on hand in his city council campaign account, permitted to be transferred to this race, he got a big head start on chief rival Susan Epstein, who nonetheless is an aggressive fundraiser.
Update: Susan tells us via email that she is reporting $67,202.97 cash on hand after raising $74,544.92 through Dec. 31. That's an impressive haul for only being in the race about a month, and fundraising through the fire and slide.
Gail to eat soup. Hart and Epstein also are expected to be on hand at Pea Soup Andersens tomorrow night, when the Democratic County Committee is to hold its endorsement interviews.
To capture the very important endorsement, which also required the contenders to complete a party questionnaire, a candidate must win the backing of 60 percent of committee members who are present and voting. There are 31 members of the committee.
Conventional wisdom says Hart is the favorite for the party nod, although the conventional wisdom occasionally can be wrong, according to President Hillary Clinton.
If neither challenger gets the endorsement, the party will be left without a candidate in the biggest race of this election year, and then everybody will probably be mad at Gail Teton-Landis, the new chair, who was most gracious in explaining the process.
Auribus teneo lupum.
Images: Salome shortly before John the Baptist lost his head; Smlin' Gregg Hart; Gail Teton-Landis.
(This story has been updated to include fundraising numbers for Susan Epstein).