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Monday, September 16, 2013

Jill Wynns is seriously considering Assembly race

Longtime School Board member Jill Wynns called me this morning. I guess we must have just crossed wires or something; she says she never got the message that I was writing about the 2014 Assembly race. She told me that the rumors are true: She is seriously considering joining Sups. David Campos and David Chiu and seeking the Assembly seat that will open up when Tom Ammiano is termed out.

Wynns isn't getting much attention in what has been portrayed as a two-way race, but if she decides to run, she could be a factor -- Wynns got more than 106,000 votes in November, 2012 (that's citywide, and this is an East Side, more progressive district, but still, she has supporters). She'd be the only woman in the race. She's an expert on education and education funding. And she can probably raise money -- particularly from people who think the other two are both too far on the left.

Wynns told me she would run as the "practical" candidate: "My concept of politics isn't right against left, it's ideological against practical," she said. "I'm on the more practical side.  It's not the positions that you take, it's getting the work done."

She said she expects her support would come from "the large majority of liberal Democrats who won't ask if you're left enough."

That sounds a lot more like the type of line Chiu has used and will use -- that he's a pragmatist who gets things done at City Hall (even when that means cutting bad deals.) So if Wynns does enter, I think she takes more votes from Chiu than from Campos, who has a solid progressive base (and the support of Ammiano, who is hugely popular in the district).  Even if she places third, she could be a factor in the primary, dragging down Chiu's vote total and moving Campos into first place.

But this is a two-two runoff, and I would be seriously surprised if Wynns finished first or second -- so I still think we're going to see Campos and Chiu in the November, 2014 general election.

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