Ed Lee can now count three former San Francisco mayors among his supporters after a timely endorsement Monday from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who orchestrated Lee’s appointment in January.
Speaking at a tech company tour in South of Market on Monday, Newsom endorsed Lee for mayor, joining former mayors Dianne Feinstein and Willie Brown in supporting the interim municipal chief for a full four-year term.
“Now he’s moved from a caretaker to a leader,” Newsom said. “It’s my conclusion that Ed Lee is the best candidate to continue to lead this city for many, many years.”
Lee said in his first 10 months as mayor, he looked to Newsom for guidance on “dicey issues” such as pension reform negotiations and balancing The City’s budget.
Newsom said that when he was considering whom to support to serve out his final year in office after he was elected lieutenant governor, many people desired the office, but Lee was the one he sought out.
“If you’ve been impressed in the last 10 months,” Newsom said, “the best is yet to come.”
The pair of politicians differ greatly in style, with Newsom’s gregarious and confident demeanor contrasting greatly with Lee’s preference for measured, nonconfrontational positions, complemented by mood-lightening jokes that some would classify as corny.
The mayor is notably not getting the nod from former Mayor Art Agnos, who gave Lee his start in city government in 1989. Agnos is instead supporting City Attorney Dennis Herrera, one of Lee’s chief rivals in the race for Room 200.
Newsom’s wife, Jennifer, weighed in on the mayoral race much earlier, having endorsed venture capitalist Joanna Rees in early September.