After much rumored anticipation, Mayor Ed Lee announced Monday that he is running for mayor in November's election.
"I've changed my mind," Lee told The San Francisco Chronicle. "I know it might be hard for people to understand that change...but my change of mind in seeking this office has everything to do with wanting what's best for this city." Lee officially listed himself as a candidate at the Department of Elections at 9am on Monday morning.
Lee was appointed interim mayor by the Board of Supervisors in January to serve out the remainder of former mayor Gavin Newsom's term when Newsom was elected Lieutenant Governor. At the time, Lee's disinterest in running for mayor in November was considered a keystone in his selection as Newsom's replacement.
Opponents like Leland Yee have expressed outrage at the change, claiming that Lee has "broken a promise." Earlier rumors of his possibly candidacy created sharp divides in the San Francisco political scene.
But after seven months in office and a community-organized guerilla campaign titled "Run Ed Run," Lee will indeed be on the ballot.
Upon hearing the news, former supervisor Chris Daly organized a small protest outside of City Hall on Monday while Lee formalized his paperwork, according to SF Weekly. "Ed Lee never 'changed his mind.'" Daly wrote. "Rose [Pak] and Willie [Brown] have had him running since the beginning. Ed Lee is a liar and should be greeted as such. Our first opportunity will be this morning as Ed Lee pulls papers to run for Mayor."
Wasting no time, Lee also announced that he would participate in Monday night's forum at the Castro Theatre. "I'm jumping right in," Lee told The Chronicle. "I'm not taking anything for granted just because I'm mayor."
For Lee supporters, Monday's celebrations marked the end of a long road of encouragement, and the beginning of a serious campaign. And for Lee opponents, Monday was the day when all suspicions were confirmed.