SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Bill Shireman would be the first to admit he’s a rarity as a San Francisco Republican — but nonetheless he’s running to represent the city’s eastside in the California State Assembly.

When asked why denizens of the deep blue city should vote for him, Shireman said he that represents what he calls the “supermajority” who want politicians of different parties to cross the aisle in these increasingly polarized times.

“Seven-in-ten of us can find common ground,” Shireman told KRON4. “That’s my base, but it doesn’t exist in any organized form.”

Shireman is the only candidate challenging Democrat Matt Haney for re-election to the State Assembly. Haney won the seat last month in a special election to fill the rest of this term, trouncing fellow Democrat David Campos. The June 7 primary and November 8 general election are to fill the seat for the next two years.

Though Campos’ name is on the June 7 ballot, he contends he is no longer challenging Haney for the seat, leaving Shireman as the only other choice.

The district covers much of San Francisco’s eastside, including downtown, the Mission, the Castro, and Bayview-Hunters Point. Assembly District 19 covers the westside, including the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, and is represented by Democrat Phil Ting, who is also running for re-election.

Shireman, a longtime San Francisco resident, is president and CEO of Future 500, a nonprofit consulting group that states it seeks to help large corporations and activists reach common ground. As former executive director of Californians Against Waste, he played a role in getting California’s so-called “bottle bill,” which allows people to redeem money for recycling, passed. He also founded In This Together, which seeks to find bipartisan solutions to climate change.

Shireman acknowledged the campaign is a long-shot — the city’s name has been a byword for progressivism nationwide for generations, and the city as a whole voted 85.2% for Joe Biden compared to just 12.7% for Donald Trump.

But Shireman went to lengths to express daylight between himself and the former president, saying “I’m a real Republican, more than Donald Trump and those who pander to our worst impulses.” When asked why he’s embracing the GOP label, he said “I couldn’t run as a Democrat … because I don’t believe in big government as a solution to big corporate abuse. Corporatism and statism have gotten married, so I don’t buy the progressive misconception that centralizing power with big government is the way to curb the excesses of capitalism.”

The chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, John Dennis, expressed support for Shireman’s candidacy.

“Bill Shireman’s long history of bringing divided factions together to find common ground, and ultimately resolution, is exactly what our time and city need,” Dennis stated. “San Francisco will win by sending Bill to represent us in Sacramento. The San Francisco Republican Party was privileged to endorse Bill Shireman for Assembly District 17.”

Shireman contends that the state’s Democratic leaders operate as a political machine — his term is “the amorphous blob” — that unfairly rewards friends and punishes enemies while leaving major problems unaddressed. When asked what he would do if elected, Shireman said he wants to unite centrists of both parties in the legislature to counterbalance the establishment.

“The power-brokers that fund established progressive campaigns cannot stand up to public employee unions, whose intent is to always employ more teachers, police, prison guards, irrespective of their success,” he said.

Shireman said he has a “modest campaign infrastructure” and a set of volunteers who will be out canvassing.

When asked for comment on Shireman’s campaign and his statements about elected officials, Haney told KRON4 that he is already working on solving California’s problems in the legislature.

“Voters are looking for someone who can deliver, with innovative policy ideas,” Haney stated. “That’s been my track record and I’m going to make it happen for San Francisco in Sacramento.”

Haney told KRON4 he was recently appointed as the assistant majority leader for policy and research, “a leadership position where I’ll lead the Assembly Democratic Caucus’ work in pursuing and implementing actionable, innovative policy analysis.”

“I’m hitting the ground running in Sacramento focused on delivering for San Francisco in the state budget and introducing and coauthoring bills on housing, homelessness, reproductive freedom, and climate change,” Haney stated.