In recent days, at least three supervisorial candidates for District 8 reached out to former Mayor Art Agnos, hoping for his political benediction. They were all disappointed.
Agnos noted that he couldn't pick a dog in this fight while rumors were swirling that his old friend and colleague, Cleve Jones, might toss his formidable hat into the ring. Jones, incidentally, is the former Harvey Milk right-hand man who later co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation — the AIDS Memorial Quilt was his brainchild — and went on to work for then-Assemblyman Agnos in Sacramento. Those of you unfamiliar with city politics or activism may recall Jones being portrayed by Emile Hirsch in the film Milk.
Agnos told SF Weekly that over the past five or six weeks, he's been hearing persistent rumors that Jones may be setting his sights on the supervisorial seat that represents the Castro. The talk "is just sort of out there," the former mayor says. "I think Cleve Jones clears the field." The current candidates for the seat may feel the same way. Agnos' pledge of support for his old pal worked its way into the rumor mill as well.
There is one person, however, who hadn't received word of late that Cleve Jones was plotting an imminent run for supervisor. And that's Cleve Jones.
"I'm flattered by the speculation — but I live in Palm Springs," he told SF Weekly. "I'm registered to vote in Palm Springs, and I haven't been registered to vote in the city and county of San Francisco for about 10 years."
Jones initially quelled rumors months ago that he was looking to take over Milk's old post, telling the Bay Area Reporter, logically, that he's not exactly a district resident. In fact, a back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals it's exactly 492 miles between his Palm Springs home and the Castro and Market intersection from which Hirsch-as-Jones led an angry protest in Milk. And yet, the rumors keep popping up.
Well, let the record show, once and for all, that Cleve Jones is not a candidate: "I'm not running. I'm not running," he stresses.
And neither is Emile Hirsch.