GOP San Francisco mayoral candidate erects billboard decried as 'blatantly racist and sexist'

GOP San Francisco mayoral candidate erects billboard decried as 'blatantly racist and sexist'
© Greg Nash

A Republican candidate to become mayor of San Francisco is under fire after erecting a billboard attacking incumbent Mayor London Breed (D).

GOP candidate Ellen Lee Zhou's cartoon billboard depicts Breed, a black woman, in a red dress with her feet up on an executive desk while holding a cigar and counting cash. A thought bubble extending from Breed shows homeless individuals with numbered signs.

The billboard also includes an image of a man carrying away a girl with money in his hand and the messages “Stop slavery and human trafficing in SF” and “Vote Nov. 5, 2019 Ellen Zhou for Mayor.”

Breed told reporters Monday that she was “pretty shocked” by the billboard’s depiction.

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“I think the billboard speaks for itself,” CBS 5 reported Breed said. “It’s unfortunate that it has come to this point.”

Maggie Muir, a consultant for Breed's reelection campaign, called the billboard "blatantly racist and sexist" in a statement to The Hill.

"This blatantly racist and sexist ad has no place in our political discourse or our city," Muir said. "Race-baiting like this is divisive, dangerous and shameful, and must be rejected."

The head of the city's NAACP chapter also reportedly condemned the billboard. 

Zhou, a social worker, told reporters she did not think the billboard was disrespectful and that she didn’t intend for it to be controversial. She said she wants people to focus on her goal to "Make San Francisco Safe & Clean."

Zhou said in a statement to The Hill that Breed is the true racist and that Democrats are bullying her because she is the only Republican candidate.

“The Mayor is not willing to have a debate with five other candidates who happen to be three White Democrats, one Chinese Republican and one Chinese Independent,” Zhou said. “I’d say London Breed is the racist.”