I'm actually a bit surprised that Gavin Newsom's allies haven't made a bigger push to take back control of the San Francisco Democratic Party, which will play a key role in the fall supervisorial races. It looked for a while as if the downtown folks were organizing to put a slate of strong candidates with solid name recognition on the ballot. But when the Department of Elections closed Friday afternoon, and the deadline for filing passed, there weren't that many new names on the ballot. Here's the list. (PDF).
Twelve candidates will get elected in each of the two San Francisco Assembly districts. On the east side of town, in AD 13, eight progressive incumbents, including Sups. David Campos and David Chiu, former Sup. (and current DCCC chair) Aaron Peskin are running. So is School Board member Kim-Shree Maufas and former state Sen. Carole Migden. Supervisorial candidates (and incuments ) Rafael Mandelman and Debra Walker are running, as are former supervisorial candidates Eric Quezada and Alix Rosenthal.
Not a lot of star power in the more moderate camp. Other than former Sup. (and incumbent) Leslie Katz and sup. candidate (and incumbent) Scott Wiener, it's not a powerful crew. So the progressives look to do well -- as they usually do -- in D 13.
D-12 is a little more conservative in general -- and there are lots and lots of candidates, meaning name recognition is even more important. I'd thought maybe somebody would talk Sup. Sean Elsbernd or Sup Carmen Chu into running. But no: the only elected officials on the list are progressives, including Sups. John Avalos and Eric Mar, School Board member Sandy Fewer, and Community College Board member Milton Marks. Then there's incumbent (and former Sup.) Jake Mcgoldrick.
The moderate, pro-Newsom camp -- the folks who would try to shift the Democratic Party endorsements away from progressives in swing supervisorial districts -- may be large, but not terribly deep. Incumbents Tom Hsieh and Megan Levitan are, of course, running again, and there's Bill Fazio, who once ran for district attorney.
Myra Kopp, wife of former state Sen. (and retired judge) Quentin Kopp, is a candidate, and while she may be a little more politically conservative than Avalos and Mar, she's not going to be in the Newsom camp, either; she's more of an independent wild card.
Paul Hogart agrees with me that the progressives seem well situated to keep control of the DCCC, although it's never a sure thing: there are no contribution limits for these races, and since it's a low-profile office, big money can make a big difference. Let's see what downtown tries to do to buff up and promote its candidates in the next two months.