Ballots are sorted after arriving at San Francisco Department of Elections in City Hall on Gubernatorial Recall Election Day in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. | Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Early voting has begun in the June primary election, otherwise known as the third heat of this year’s Election Quadrathlon. Mail ballots, Voter Information Pamphlets, and slate mailers are inundating our mailboxes. Postcards and leaflets from many of the city’s civic groups continue to offer voting advice on a plethora of down-ballot races, funded in part by campaigns.
We’ve put together selected endorsements from some of the more established civic groups and publications, and here are some interesting observations:
The main event of this election in San Francisco is over the ballot measures, most notably Proposition H, the recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Of the 25 endorsing organizations we researched that have taken a position on the recall, 17 oppose recalling Boudin, while 8 support the recall. It’s a stark contrast to polling about the issue, which reflects significant public support.
Opinions are more divided on Proposition C, a measure which if passed would make recalls more difficult in the future. 13 out of 27 groups surveyed support the measure. Both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Bay Area Reporter oppose both Props H and C, along with the SF Women's Political Committee. A number of groups with no position on the Boudin recall also opposed Prop C.
The most popular measure by far is Proposition A, the transit reliability and street safety bond measure, which has been endorsed by all the groups we surveyed apart from the local Republican Party, which opposes it. Proposition F, which would reform the rate-setting process for refuse service, was almost as popular.
While most groups are uniform in supporting Democratic frontrunners in state and federal races, such as Congressmember Nancy Pelosi, two races have attracted a diversity of support. (The SF Bay View Newspaper stands alone as an endorser of public interest lawyer Shahid Buttar for Pelosi’s 11th Congressional District seat.) The newly drawn 15th Congressional District replaces the 14th District, which had been represented by the recently retired Jackie Speier. Like its predecessor, the 15th District contains a small portion of San Francisco, albeit now to the east and south of 280. More centrist clubs, such as the United Democratic Club, appear to have gravitated around current 22nd District Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, while progressive groups like the Milk Club and SF Berniecrats are supporting San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.
A primary race has also broken out in the Board of Equalization District 2, containing San Francisco, where former San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier and former 22nd District Assemblymember Sally Lieber are running against each other. At least among the San Francisco-based groups, more moderate clubs appear to be coalescing around Alioto-Pier, while progressive groups support Lieber. Both are running against Republican Peter Verbica in this open primary, with the top two vote-getters facing off in November.
Correction: The San Francisco Republican Party tweeted a statement endorsing the recall of District Attorney Boudin in July of 2021, but has not listed the position in itsvoter guide. Additionally, the SF Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club opposes the recall.