"It's likely every candidate will have $1.5 million to $2 million to spend," he said. That means the keys to the race are likely to be name ID with voters and "which campaign can do the most with the least dollars," Stearns said.
Already, some of the candidates who will be running to the center are looking for progressive support. Yee, for example, has given substantial amounts of money to progressive groups and candidates and has endorsed progressives for office.
Yee told us he's positioning himself as "the candidate of the regular folks of San Francisco — the people who are trying to raise their families and live in this city." He added: "To the extent that the progressive agenda fits that, we'll be part of it."
But he already has the endorsement of the Building Trades Council, which has often been at war with progressives, particularly over development issues.
Yee said he hasn't yet weighed in on the local budget, but he agreed that new revenue "shouldn't be off the table." He said he thinks the current pension reform discussions at City Hall, involving Mayor Ed Lee, Sup. Sean Elsbernd, financier Warren Hellman, and union representatives are "the right way to go."
Herrera said he's going to run on his record — which includes a long list of progressive legal actions (along with his gang injunctions, which a lot of progressives question). He also told us that he's involved in the pension reform discussions but thinks that new revenue absolutely ought to be a part of the budget debate.