District 9 Debaters Turn On Campos

The debate was covered by JORDAN CONN, ALLISON DAVIS, ARMAND EMANDJOMEH, HÉLÈNE GOUPIL, and JUDITH JOFFE-BLOCK. This piece was written by JORDAN CONN and HÉLÈNE GOUPIL.

When the seven candidates running for District 9 supervisor began the portion of Thursday night’s debate in which they could ask one another questions, most saved their toughest inquiries for police commissioner David Campos.

Community organizer Eric Quezada questioned Campos about his lack of experience working in District 9. Former labor organizer Eva Royale questioned him about his support for decriminalizing prostitution and his antagonistic relationship with the Police Officers Association, whose president called for Campos to resign from the commission. School Board president Mark Sanchez pushed Campos to say who he would support as Board of Supervisors president — prompting the crowd to hiss and holler when Campos refused to take a stand.

The moderator, Melissa Griffin, explained that debate organizers chose this format — an early session in which each offered views on the propositions and then questioned one another — to make it easier for the audience to differentiate among the largely progressive field.

Out of the seven candidates for supervisor, six were present — Eric Storey, Eva Royale, Mark Sanchez, Tom Valtin, Quezada and Campos. Vern Matthews was absent.

The district’s leftward leanings were on display as candidates grilled each other on such issues as the decriminalizing prostitution (Prop K — everyone but Royale supports it), the policy against the termination of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (Prop V, which Sanchez adamantly defended) and increasing government funds for affordable housing (Prop B — Storey argued against it to a chorus of hisses).

Organizers expected a boisterous crowd, and while there was especially animated hissing and applause in the first half, the audience calmed as the night wore on.

“Actually, it wasn’t as rowdy as it could have been,” Griffin said. “We were pretty happy about what eventually played out.”

Filed under: Elections 2008

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