Politicians react to the passing of SF Mayor Ed Lee

Politicians from around the Bay Area responded with sadness today about the unexpected death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee overnight.

Lee died at 1:11 a.m. today at San Francisco General Hospital at the age of 65. Family, friends and colleagues were at his side at the time of his passing, according to the mayor's office. He is survived by his wife Anita and two daughters, Brianna and Tania.

Lee became the city's 43rd mayor and its first Asian-American one in 2011 when the Board of Supervisors appointed him to the position to replace Gavin Newsom, who had become the state's lieutenant governor.

He then won election to a full term later that year and was re-elected in 2015.

Many people who worked alongside Lee expressed shock and grief about his unexpected death.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before being elected to the state Legislature, said Lee "was a decent human being who was deeply committed to our city. He made history for our Chinese community. I'm floored that he's gone."

Kamala Harris, who was San Francisco's district attorney before becoming the state attorney general and then a U.S. senator, said she is "deeply saddened by the passing of my friend."

Lee "was a fierce advocate for civil rights and worked tirelessly for workers' rights and his leadership will be missed," Harris said.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, called Lee "an uncommon mayor with a common touch, he was modest in a business that attracts boasters, he was gentle in a career that awards roughness, and he was a policy expert in everything local in a field where most of his colleagues are generalists."

Lee's mayoral colleagues in two other major Bay Area cities -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo -- also released statements about his passing.

"Oakland sends its condolences to Anita, her daughters, and all San Franciscans today," Schaaf said. "Mayor Ed Lee served his community with passion and humility, broke historic barriers, led with a compassionate heart, and was a valued friend and colleague."

Liccardo said, "Ed was a good and incredibly gracious man, at a time when goodness, graciousness, and civility are not sufficiently valued in public life. My heart goes out to Ed's family."

According to the City Charter, Board of Supervisors president London Breed was appointed acting mayor upon Lee's death.

A news conference with Breed and other city officials is planned for City Hall at 10 a.m. today.