This morning, Christina Olague was sworn in as the new District 5 supervisor during a quick ceremony at City Hall. While the former planning commissioner is no political novice, she is also no sure vote for Mayor Ed Lee and his moderate agenda, making his pick all the more puzzling.
"It's a bold pick because her record is one of independence, and it's unlikely she will follow a checklist handed to her by anyone -- the mayor or the progressive community," said Alex Clemens, a local political consultant. "I am sure this has confounded some of Mayor Lee's supporters."
Confounded perhaps because Olague, a progressive Latina from the Central Valley, has a reputation for being on the losing side of three major developments supported by Lee, including Parkmerced and the Hunters Point project. At the same time, she also co-chaired the "Run, Ed, Run" campaign, adding to her political mystique.
But as promised, Lee, who was sworn is as San Francisco mayor on Sunday,
said he would pick someone not who would vote in line with him, but who can represent the heavily progressive district. He also wanted someone who is very electable -- and that's Olague, Clemens said.
"Olague has voted her conscience on
the projects before her and not surprisingly, some of those votes are
counter to what some of Mayor Lee's backers would have preferred." Clemens told us. "But now Ed Lee can make a case to San Francisco that he has appointed someone who is smart, tough, and independent."
Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF