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San Francisco's election results appear to show influence of moderate Democrats

San Francisco’s moderate Democrats win big on Election Day
San Francisco’s moderate Democrats win big on Election Day 02:59

There are still more than 100,000 ballots to be countered in San Francisco, but it appears to have been a very strong showing for San Francisco's growing collection of moderate Democrats.

Additional ballots may change some of the results, but a trend appears to be taking hold in San Francisco politics.

"I think there's a good chance we see a couple changes," said Steven Buss, Director of Grow SF. "Hopefully, Prop A can hold on. And I think the DCCC candidates probably have a little bit of mixing in the middle of the pack."

Even with some changes, it was a big night for Buss, one of the architects of the string of victories for San Francisco's moderate Democrats. 

"I actually don't feel like it was us influencing the election," he said. "It was the voters, and it was us responding to the voters."

This set of victories, however, was hardly the beginning of something for city moderates, this is now a pattern going on two years.

"November 2020, we basically lost everything," Buss recalled. "And then we got the school board recall. We got the Chesa Boudin recall. We got Joel Engardio and Matt Dorsey and Brooke Jenkins. And now we've got the Democratic Party, and we've got Prop E and Prop F."

"Whether you are the school board, the DA, the Democratic Party members, they're throwing you out," said Assembleymember Matt Haney. "And so the question is, you know, will the mayor and the supervisors be next."

Haney, a former city supervisor, offered a candid take on the election's implications, starting with the mayor's race.

"With all respect to my friend, Asha, he really went in on Prop B which got crushed," Haney said of Supervisor Asha Safai. "Aaron, I don't know what Aaron Peskin's narrative is now if he gets in the race."

Tuesday night's vote also has implications for the Board.

"Now, we have a democratic party that is controlled by the moderate faction," Haney explained. "They are going to endorse all the moderate candidates in November, which likely made some trouble for Connie, some trouble for Dean."

"The lesson that I learned from last night and will carry with me into November, is that the grassroots campaign must mobilize," said Supervisor Connie Chan. "Knock on doors. Phone banking. Talking to voters."

Chan, a progressive up for re-election in District 1, pointed to low turnout. She also tied the results, and the city's shifting politics, to national political trends.

"I am saying that they are political opportunists," Chan said. "They are taking that trend, they are taking political winds, and they are grabbing onto it and turning that something else in San Francisco."

Meanwhile, Buss is looking toward the November election. 

"We will definitely make endorsements for mayor. But we're going to wait till after the filing deadline," Buss said.

That deadline is in November.

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