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Politics & Policy

San Francisco moderates take control of Democratic Party leadership

A woman is speaking at a podium with microphones, with the US flag to her left and event signage behind her.
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi serves on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee as an ex officio member. | Source: Courtesy Zachary Borja

San Francisco moderate Democrats have won control of the influential Democratic County Central Committee, or the governing board of the San Francisco Democratic Party—an upset that will determine key endorsements in the November general election.

The committee, also known as the DCCC, issues endorsements, helps register voters, charters Democratic clubs and passes policy resolutions. The race was closely watched due to a push by moderates to swing the local party back to the center.

The DCCC has 24 elected members, including 14 from the 17th Assembly District—essentially the east side of San Francisco—and 10 from the 19th Assembly District, which includes the city’s west side. It has eight “ex officio” members who are elected Democrats in state and federal offices. The top vote-getters in each district win seats on the committee.

The normally obscure race for DCCC received outsize focus this year because the committee will control endorsements for mayor, Board of Supervisors and other November races. 

Moderates organized a group of candidates called the Democrats for Change slate, whereas progressives ran a group called the Labor and Working Families slate. The races attracted large political donations.

"We need representatives on the DCCC who will champion the issues that matter most to San Francisco voters: public safety, abundant housing and quality public schools," said Todd David, a political consultant who backed the Democrats for Change slate.

Top vote-getters in AD 19 included Supervisor Catherine Stefani, former Supervisor Michaela Alioto-Pier, small business advocate Marjan Philhour and nonprofit executive Parag Gupta.

In AD 17, Supervisor Matt Dorsey, prosecutor Nancy Tung, political activist Lily Ho and supervisor candidate Bilal Mahmood were among the top vote-getters as of Friday.