On Monday night, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a candidate in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and a darling of the gay rights movement for allowing same sex couples to marry in his city in 2004, has lost yet another endorsement contest involving a gay political group.
Instead, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Newsom's opponent in the primary, overwhelmingly got the nod from members of the Los Angeles-based Stonewall Democratic Club, winning more than 70 percent of the vote.
Hahn also beat out Newsom for endorsements from gay political groups in Long Beach, West Hollywood/Beverly Hills, and San Diego.
While these contests have occurred in Southern California — something of a political stronghold for the Los Angeles-based Hahn — the losses are still somewhat surprising for a man who's very popular among gays and lesbians.
One reason may be that Hahn has been campaigning hard for those endorsements.
At the Stonewall meeting in West Hollywood, for example, Hahn, who describes herself as the “underdog” of the primary, appeared in person and spoke.
Newsom, who lives in San Francisco, did not show and did not fill out a questionnaire the club had given to him, seeking his positions on various issues.
Hahn told the crowd at the West Hollywood Auditorium that the Stonewall endorsement would “mean a lot for my campaign,” which seems to be facing an uphill battle against the highly charismatic Newsom.
Hahn, who did fill out the club's questionnaire, was first recommended by an endorsement committee of the Stonewall Democrats, and members backed up that recommendation last night.
Hahn also made an appearance in West Hollywood on Sunday, trying to woo gay voters at a candidates forum at the Pacific Design Center held by Equality California, the gay rights group. Newsom also showed up.
Afterward, the councilwoman walked through the heart of Boys Town, waving at a nearly naked go-go boy at one point, to attend an Equality California-sponsored reception at Eleven nightclub on Santa Monica Boulevard. Newsom was a no-show.
After her victory on Monday night, Hahn told L.A. Weekly that Newsom wasn't serious about his run for lieutenant governor. “He's phoning it in,” the councilwoman said.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.