The Rise of Candidate X - Page 4

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. 

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All illustrations by Sean Morgan


The Black Bloc folks aggressive ways led the public to link Occupy with violence, from hippies to rage rousers. Black Bloc and Candidate X were kindred souls. Even his heart was black.

X yanked Murphy behind the fountain at Justin Herman Plaza, and punched him repeatedly, savagely, in the face, Murphy said in police reports, eventually pinning the officer to the ground before he got his.

Candidate X put up the usual defenses. "Murphy was near murderous with protesters all night, he'd gone vigilante," Candidate X told scads of TV crews in Aaron Sorkin-esque walk and talks, last week. Protesters said he saved their lives, hailing his heroism. San Francisco shouldn't buy the story. It's malarkey, plain and simple.

But good reasons or no, is a violent wacko the kind of candidate you want leading the new progressive movement? Not surprisingly, it seems the new progressive era is like the old one. Big dreams, empty promises, and a lot of rhetoric that will soar nowhere.

And no one, especially not your humble narrator, was surprised.

EXxThe electoral landscape today is much different than it was only last week, when the revelation of Candidate X's brawl with police had pulled the mayoral hopeful's poll numbers into the ground.

Now a new viral video released by members of the San Francisco Occupy camp from 2011 confirms X's side of the story: Officer Alex Murphy broke ranks with the generally peaceful SFPD. Police Chief Greg Suhr had a mostly "hands off" policy, allowing the Occupiers their right to free speech.

Murphy did not follow those directives, however, and the video shows the officer swinging his baton wildly, throwing punches, and injuring several protesters in the night, only to be fought off by Candidate X.

The story of X's fight with an SFPD officer during the Occupy encampments had many saying the candidate's campaign was over.

"That's not someone I'd trust to be the leader of San Francisco," said Mayor Ed Lee Press Secretary Christine Falvey.

The release of the video casted doubt on Murphy's side of the story, and changed the electoral climate in the city going into next month's election, when five seats on the Board of Supervisors are on the ballot.

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wilderXProgressives in San Francisco scored big victories in last night's election, winning seats on the Board of the Supervisors that a year ago seemed secure for the incumbents, thanks largely to a populist surge triggered by the mysterious Candidate X mayoral campaign.

Although neither Mayor Ed Lee nor Candidate X will appear on the ballot until next year, this year's legislative races clearly got caught up in the enthusiasm of that race, with David Campos defeating David Chiu in their Assembly race and three members of the Board of Supervisors replaced by progressives.

Attorney David Waggoner took Sup. Scott Wiener's District 8 seat and previous political unknowns Jennifer Wong and Betty Jones scored improbable victories in the Districts 2 and 10, defeating Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen.