Pro-Housing Candidates Lead on San Francisco’s DCCC Ballot – The Real Deal

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Moderate, pro-development candidates appear to have won many of the spots on San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee, the little-known group with outsize power to sway close elections, also referred to as “the D-Triple-C.” 

“These votes aren’t final yet, but the trend is sure compelling,” said moderate DCCC candidate Supervisor Matt Dorsey on X, formerly Twitter, early Wednesday morning. 

Four years ago, progressives claimed all but two open seats on the DCCC. While the next round of tallies won’t be announced until Thursday at 4 pm, it seems that voters have replaced what moderate leaders have described as far-left, anti-development forces with many candidates who will put the endorsement muscle of the Democratic Party behind pro-housing candidates and issues, starting with the upcoming election in November. 

“It is great that we have a DCCC that will now support housing legislation and pro-housing candidates instead of fighting it. That’s a complete 180 from where it was before,” said Jane Natoli of YIMBY Action, naming supervisor candidates such as Marjan Philhour, Danny Sauter and Bilal Mahmood among those who would most benefit from the change in November. 

SF YIMBY, along with moderate groups like TogetherSF, GrowSF and Democrats for Change, put a lot of emphasis on the D-Triple-C in this election cycle. They have spent months explaining to their members that the obscure but influential body that governs the local party can make political endorsements. These endorsements can turn the tides on tight elections in the one-party city, starting with contentious battles for mayor, half of the supervisor seats, and statewide and local ballot measures in November. 

“We’ve been talking to voters about the DCCC for 18 months. It paid off tonight,” said Kanishka Cheng, founder and CEO of TogetherSF on X as the results came in on Tuesday evening. “Let’s keep it up for November!”

Rather than focus on any one candidate, moderate groups ran all their DCCC picks for San Francisco’s two assembly districts as a slate. It appears to have been a winning strategy in this down-ballot race in a low-turn-out election. 

The city’s Department of Elections is currently reporting only about 105,000 votes, including all in-person votes. Of those, over 72,000 belonged to registered Democrats, the only ones allowed to vote for the D-Triple-C. There are still about 110,000 mostly mail-in votes left to count, but with 14 seats available in Assembly District 17 and 10 in Assembly District 19, thus far candidates have needed as few as 10,000 votes to win a seat. There are also eight “ex-officio” members made up of local Democrats who hold state and federal offices. 

Though it is too close to call exactly which 24 candidates will represent San Francisco’s two assembly districts in the D-Triple-C, the early leads show some little-known moderate candidates getting more votes than progressive big-name contenders like District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, former District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, former District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, former District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and former District 11 Supervisor John Avalos. Some of these politicians may yet end up with a seat on the DCCC, but they are currently trailing almost all of the Democrats for Change candidates, most of which were also endorsed by SF YIMBY Action.

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Natoli, who ran for D-Triple-C and lost four years ago, said she expected “more of a mixed bag” and was pleasantly surprised that the entire slate did so well, calling the results thus far “an impressive haul.” She said she expects some of the higher-name-recognition candidates to move up in the rankings as more votes are counted, but said the initial results show “the power of actually contacting and connecting with voters on issues they cared about.”

GrowSF posted on X on Tuesday evening before the polls closed that its Voter Guide was seeing more traffic than it ever had, including in past elections with higher turnout. 

By 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the organization declared: “The voters have spoken. There are more ballots to count, but the early results are clear: voters demand change, voters demand competence and voters demand a city that works. Now the hard work begins.”

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