Edward Lee, interim mayor of San Francisco, announced on Monday morning that he will run for a full four-year term as San Francisco mayor, despite saying in January that he would never run for this position.
"I've changed my mind," he told The Chronicle on Sunday. "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 said in January that he had no design to run for mayor and would just work temporarily in the absence of Gavin Newsom, the former mayor.
However, Lee will officially run for the mayor in the November election, as per an announcement made on Monday morning at the city's Department of Elections.
Lee's earlier promise for keeping off mayoral run was obvious: "I am not a politician," he said. According to Lee, he changed his mind after he saw the tone of City Hall improve during his short tenure.
However, Lee insists that though he has decided to run for for the office of mayor, yet he is still a politically averse person. "Ed Lee is not changing," he said. "I've changed my mind, but I'm still the Ed Lee that they know."
Though some of Lee's supporters proposed that he doesn't need to run for the office of mayor and can just continue doing his work, Lee thinks otherwise. "I'm behind. Everyone else is ahead of me. I'm jumping right in," Lee said. "I'm not taking anything for granted just because I'm mayor."
However, Lee has also faced some attacks for his integrity and independence, because he changed his mind from time to time.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera even said Lee had broken a promise to members of the Board of Supervisors who appointed him in January, and it indicates a bigger problem.
"Ed Lee told us he didn't want to be interim Mayor. But powerful people insisted he do it, so he did," Herrera said. "Then Ed Lee told us he didn't want to run for Mayor. But powerful people insisted he run, and now he is. To my mind,Ed Lee's biggest problem isn't that he's a dishonest man - it's that he's not his own man."
"The fact is, if Ed Lee is elected Mayor, powerful people will continue to insist on things," Herrera said. "And I don't think San Franciscans can be blamed for having serious doubts about whether Ed Lee would have the courage to say no."
Except Lee, there are nine other major candidates who have been running for the office of mayor, including Lee's supervisors David Chiu and John Avalos, who were on the board that appointed Lee to the job.