Rose Pak says she will 'kick Dennis Herrera's ass' — even with a sprained ankle 

click to enlarge ROSE PAK, LEFT, HAS BEEN A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND GETTING ED LEE TO RUN FOR MAYOR. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • Rose Pak, left, has been a driving force behind getting Ed Lee to run for mayor. (Examiner file photo)

As the fight in San Francisco over the Central Subway project continues to heat up, it seems as if nothing will deter the ambitions of Chinatown Chamber of Commerce consultant Rose Pak – not City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s slick new TV ad denouncing her association with Mayor Ed Lee, not even a sprained ankle.

“I’m still going to kick Dennis Herrera’s ass,” Pak joked outside City Hall as she sat in a car with her bandaged foot dangling out of the passenger side.

Pak, , walking with crutches out of Room 200 around 5 p.m. Wednesday, said she was in a meeting to discuss the 30-year-old Muni transit project with other advocates who want the 1.7-mile subway to connect Chinatown and South of Market in one of The City’s busiest corridors.

Herrera, a mayoral candidate who initially supported the subway, has made it into a clear campaign issue by saying it doesn’t do enough for Muni, especially considering the rising costs of the project -- now estimated at $1.6 billion.

As for her ties to Lee, Pak said with an almost daily mention of her name in newspaper articles and her image becoming widespread in campaign television ads, you’d think she was the one running for office.

“People in Chinatown like me, they really do,” Pak said. “It can only help a candidate.”

Pak, who considers Lee a friend and supported the Run, Ed, Run effort to encourage the mayor to seek permanent office, said attempts to make the subway look like a Chinatown-only special interest project are flatly racist. Pak said she has never worked for a company, only for the interests of her community.

“I do work for Chinatown interests,” Pak said. “If it means helping the Chinese people, I say, I’m good, I’m doing it.”

Tony Winnicker, Lee’s campaign spokesman, said he doesn’t believe the mayor is being hurt by his association with Pak.

“To be honest, most people in San Francisco have no idea who Rose Pak is,” Winnicker said. “She’s a longtime advocate in Chinatown, and whether they’ll admit it or not, almost every elected official in The City seeks her support and consults with her on issues in the Chinese community.”

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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Dan Schreiber

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