San Francisco mayoral debate in Mission invites only five candidates 

You’re invited to a mayoral debate focusing on issues in the Mission district, but not all the mayoral candidates are.

And we’re not even talking about the 28 candidates who have thrown their names into the race and have been kept out of the two forums already hosted. The nine candidates who have regularly been invited have now been whittled down to five.

The Valencia Corridor Merchants Association and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the mayoral debate on Monday at Public Works at 161 Erie St. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Bevan Dufty, David Chiu, Dennis Herrera, Leland Yee and John Avalos have been invited but not Tony Hall, Joanna Rees, Michela Alioto-Pier or Phil Ting.

Debate organizer Deena Davenport, who runs Glama-Rama Salon and who started the merchant’s association, said the issues will focus on Mission-centric and business issues. Already candidates have been asked if they support lowering minimum wage for restaurant workers, parent-generated report cards, the new police chief, ranked-choice voting and district elections.

Asked why only five names showed up on the debate list, Davenport said the event organizers decided to invite those who they saw as the frontrunners in the race. Avalos, who is seen as more of a long shot, also got an invitation because he has roots in the Mission.

“This is a very Mission-based forum,” Davenport said. “It’s really growing as an area of importance and as a huge job creator. We want a mayor who understands that.”

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Brent Begin

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