GOP endorses Brown

November 14, 1999

This is an edited excerpt of an editorial that was published in the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News on Thursday.

IN WHAT alternate universe do conservative Republicans endorse liberal Democrat Willie Brown? San Francisco.

This past week, GOP leaders came out for Mr. Brown, who's seeking a second term as mayor. Reluctantly. Very reluctantly.

The office may be nonpartisan, but Mr. Brown isn't. As speaker of the California assembly, he outsmarted GOP politicians for years before term limits forced him out of the legislature. But in this race, Mr. Brown's the conservative.

The alternative is Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who won a spot in the Dec. 14 runoff with a last-minute write-in campaign.

A former stand-up comic, Mr. Ammiano wants to raise payroll taxes and require a $14-an-hour living wage. And he's not joking. Plus he's gay.

There aren't very many registered Republicans in San Francisco, of course. But, if the race is close, Republican voters could help keep Mayor Willie Brown in power.

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