And the GOP hits keep coming.
The D7 race now features a Republican candidate who is at best an also-ran spending his limited money attacking the two most progressive candidates in the race, Vilaska Nguyen and Myrna Melgar, as being too liberal for the district.
The candidate, Stephen Martin-Pinto, has raised less than $30,000 in a race where hundreds of thousands are being spent. No Republican has been elected to any office in San Francisco in more than 20 years.
On the other hand, Joel Engardio, who is a Democrat and a serious contender in the race, is running a ranked-choice strategy with Martin-Pinto.
Engardio hasn’t openly attacked any of the other candidates, and has told me repeatedly that he wants to run a positive race.
But he does have the support of some in the local Republican Party; in fact, John Dennis, the local GOP chair, send out a tweet Saturday attacking Melgar saying she wants to
Disband our police … though she advertises on Fox News TO OUR GREAT SF REPUBLICANS and she hates Donald Trump. Vote for Steven Martin Pinto Joel Engardio is an acceptable 2nd choice.”
And Engardio has appeared on a mailer with Martin-Pinto urging a vote for both of them under ranked-choice voting.
Saying a candidate doesn’t like Donald Trump can’t be an effective message anywhere in San Francisco. But that’s what they are trying.
So if I were a suspicious person, I would say that the GOP folks who are trying to keep Vilaska Nguyen or Melgar from winning this seat decided that it would make more sense for the attacks to come from Martin-Pinto instead of from Engardio.
Martin-Pinto told me that he’d had no discussions with Engardio or his campaign and decided on his own to send out the hit pieces on the two other candidates “so the voters would know.”
Engardio told me that
I’m actually supporting Martin-Pinto, Emily Murase and Ben Matranga. I’ve said that at many candidate forums. I wouldn’t call one mailer with Martin-Pinto an RCV strategy. And it was determined long before Martin-Pinto did his comparison pieces on other candidates, so I can’t speak to those. I rarely talk to Martin-Pinto, though I did see him recently doing visibility at a traffic intersection. I congratulated him on helping save a bicyclist who was the victim of a hit and run as Martin-Pinto was waving his sign at the intersection.
Engardio is a registered Democrat who told me:
“I absolutely want to rid our country of the nightmare of the Trump administration. I’m fully behind Biden and Harris. In the primary, I was a very early supporter of Pete Buttigieg. See Buttigieg’s statement of support: www.engardio.com/blog/2020/10/8/mayor-peteThere might be a million shades of blue when it comes to San Francisco democrats as we disagree on hyper local matters about how to run our city. But we are united in resisting Trump. When Democrats in Michigan look at San Francisco, they don’t see the million shades of blue and our local divide between progressives/moderates. They just see liberal Democrats aligned on immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and Black Lives Matter. “
But the GOP Trump supporters think Engardio would be just fine as a supervisor. And there’s no tweets telling D7 residents not to vote for Engardio because he hates Trump.