Again demonstrating the strong political skills that have typified his career outside his mayoral race, Supervisor David Chiu won unanimous first ballot re-election as President of the Board of Supervisors. The vote followed a debate that began with new Supervisor Norman Yee nominating David Chiu. Jane Kim then nominated Malia Cohen, who in turn nominated Kim. Scott Weiner then announced he would not be a candidate, and he seconded Yee’s nomination of Chiu. John Avalos then seconded the nomination of Kim, and David Campos did likewise for Cohen. But a potentially competitive three way race never occurred.

After the nominations ended, Kim asked to speak first. She predictably withdrew her candidacy, and then announced she would be supporting Chiu rather than Cohen. Cohen then followed with an emotional speech on the nature of leadership, and after encouraging everyone to “be a leader,” also withdrew her candidacy.

Cohen would have had the votes of Kim, Campos, Mar, Avalos and herself. She either could not secure the sixth vote (Breed going with Chiu) or decided it was not vital for her to battle to become Board President.

In either case, her comments on leadership not requiring a job title or formal position were spot on. Cohen recognizes that she can do as much for her constituents in her current position as she would be able to do as Board President—if not more.

When I addressed the Board race on November 19, I saw Chiu competing with Kim and Weiner with Cohen a potential consensus backup choice. At the time I thought Yee would go with Kim. When he instead nominated Chiu, it was clear that it was now a two-person race between Chiu and Cohen.

Ultimately, I think Chiu saw the Board Presidency as a much greater personal priority than did Cohen, and her comments reflected this. He worked the inside game hard in recent weeks, and it paid off.