I would have never believed this news four months ago but get this: The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council is seriously considering endorsing businessman and Republican Steve Francis for mayor after meeting with the candidates this weekend, two sources confirmed for me.

The coalition of local unions apparently did a poll that shows Francis very competitive against incumbent Mayor Jerry Sanders. We instituted a policy of not publicizing the results of polls done on behalf of campaigns and others where the whole poll, and its questions, are not shared. So we are not releasing the figures or details. But it appears that the poll itself is being used internally to help guide union bosses toward the once-wild idea that an endorsement of Francis is palatable.

Francis’ hard turn to the political left is also helping along with one other factor: Francis, of course, isn’t looking for money to be part of a deal with the Labor Council. He’s got all that covered. It’s a lot easier, I would think, to give an endorsement when you don’t have to worry about putting money behind your words.

If the endorsement comes, we might have to stop saying that Francis is marching to the left. He’ll have arrived.

I’m sure the former staunch conservative never said anything about unions that could prove awkward as these discussions progress.

SCOTT LEWIS

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