The Rise of Candidate X - Page 2

The absolutely true story of how a complete unknown rocketed from political obscurity, electrified the city, tackled real problems, and beat Ed Lee in 2015. 

All illustrations by Sean Morgan

Those campaigns were coupled with hundreds of activists using hoes, picks, and shovels on public land that was part of the 8 Washington luxury condo proposal, removing the parking lots and grading the land by hand for a communal housing project they intend to build on the site.

The next week, with the Candidate X movement gaining momentum at astonishing speed, Candidate X announced his/her intention to run for mayor in the November 2015 election, starting now. The campaign has already announced a series of radical but smart positions, from banning cars on Market and other key streets to reclaiming Treasure Island and Hunters Point Shipyard from Lennar's control, and promising many more to come.

In some ways, it seems like a marriage between the surging housing rights movement which has been challenging evictions and gentrification and fighting for the soul of San Francisco and the social media-driven Batkid outpouring back in November. But rather than an apolitical one-off, this feels like a broad movement focused on shaping San Francisco in the public interest over the long term.

The whirlwind of exciting political energy has left many speechless, and we can only say: Candidate X for mayor!


MRxWhile the Candidate X phenomenon has certainly captivated San Franciscans and attracted national media attention, giving the city's far-left progressives a glimmer of hope in capturing the Mayor's Office next year, those close to Mayor Ed Lee say they aren't worried.

"Everybody's having fun with this now, but at the end of the day, voters are going to prefer a proven leader like Mayor Lee and his successful jobs agenda to some kind of strange masked comic book character," a source in the Mayor's Office told us. "Whatever this thing is, it'll be a footnote in the mayor's race."

leeXThe source cited internal polling indicating the Mayor Lee's approval rating holding steady at more than 70 percent and unaffected by the last three months' worth of headline-grabbing antics by Candidate X and his or her campaign. The polls also found the public is turned off by the candidate's mask and secret identity.

Candidate X has certainly proven adept at using social media and other technological tools to generate support, but Angel investor Ron Conway and his collaboration of technology industry leaders have pledged to help make tech-driven outreach and voter identification a centerpiece of Lee's reelection campaign.

"Entrepreneurs have made this city what it is, and we're not going to let this Candidate X creature undermine our agenda for San Francisco," Conway said. "Let them have their fun for now, we're not worried."

weeklyXSometimes, revealing the fakers in politics can be easy.

And so it goes with the so-called "Candidate X." The self-stylized Progressive Hero is a multi-racial, gender ambiguous second coming of Christ for the city's super-lefties. The narrative began with a PR move that undoubtedly had Willie Brown weeping into his Wilkes Bashford handkerchief.

Brown promised to fix Muni in 100 days, and Candidate X fixed it with one glorifyingly stupid stunt.