San Francisco politicians using drag queens to win voters

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It might not fly in Nebraska, but in San Francisco two candidates competing for a state Senate seat are using drag queens in their pitches for voters. It's the battle between Jane Kim and Scott Wiener.

Many people credit "RuPaul's Drag Race" with bringing drag queens into the main stream, but politicians featuring them to woo voters may be a first.

It's a tight election battle between Wiener and Kim who are running for the state Senate and both have what's likely an only in San Francisco campaign weapon - the city's celebrated drag queens.

Wiener's Facebook video features three queens singing his praises for doing the work on Muni, housing and HIV services. "It's great to find a hook, so that people enjoy the message, it's not just a serious political message, it's a serious message in a fun wrapper," Wiener said.

Drag queens dressed Kim as one of their own for a political event, supporting her work on affordable housing, minimum wage, and access to education. "Many of our drag queens are super politically engaged, are rallying their followers to vote and letting them know who represents their values," Kim said.

They may be having a moment in this campaign, but consider the history of the performance art itself as political expression and of the queens as activists.

"Drag queens and politics have never been completely separate," Honey Mahogany said.

Mahogany is a super star, a former contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race." "Drag queens were the first to throw stones at stone wall, to riot at Compton's. We have the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who've always been politically active," Mahoney said.

"When drag queens speak or sing, people listen," Wiener said.

"We are a city that revere and celebrate our queens," Kim said.

Wiener may have to take down his Facebook video as it is a parody of a Katy Perry song and unless she intervenes, Sony Records has ordered it taken down by the end of Wednesday.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.