Sheriff Hennessey backs Ross Mirkarimi as his successor

Sheriff Michael Hennessey will make it official today and ”enthusiastically” endorse Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi as his preferred successor.

The duo has scheduled a noon news conference on the steps of City Hall.

Hennessey told The Insider that he is backing Mirkarimi because he can use his City Hall contacts and understanding of policy and politics to advocate for the sheriff’s department, which runs the city jails and oversees security at City Hall and in the courts.

First elected to the job in 1979, Hennessey has put stock in programs to rehabilitate offenders with in-custody education opportunities, anti-violence programs and substance abuse services.

”I think one of the major roles of sheriff is to understand how city government works, and Ross Mirkarimi has that understanding,” Hennessey said.

Mirkarimi, who represents the District Five neighborhoods that include Hayes Valley, the Haight and the Western Addition, was first elected supervisor in 2004, and previously worked as an aide to then-Supervisor Terence Hallinan and as an investigator in the district attorney’s office.

”Sheriff Mike Hennessey is a living legend,” Mirkarimi said of the endorsement. It will be ”impossible to fill his shoes but I will build on his legacy and amplify the department’s greatness.”

Six other candidates have filed to run for sheriff in the November election: William Angel, a retired senior deputy sheriff; Michael Evans, a San Fran… >>>

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