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Politics & Policy

San Francisco Republicans elect new party leadership

Jay Donde raises his right hand in the direction of another man raising his right with a pane of glass between them as San Francisco City Hall Board of Elections Department.
Jay Donde, founder of the San Francisco Briones Society, swears an oath after filing paperwork to run for the Republican County Central Committee. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

San Francisco voters were deciding Tuesday on the Republican County Central Committee, the governing board of the local Republican Party.

Only registered Republicans can vote for the committee. Like its counterpart, the Democratic County Central Committee, the RCCC is in charge of making endorsements, registering voters and passing policy resolutions.

Republicans make up roughly 7% of registered voters in San Francisco.

This year, candidates for RCCC included a group called the Briones Society, which bills itself as a "center-right" group that aims to make Republicanism relevant again in San Francisco. The group advocates for public safety, education and reducing government waste. The Republican Club of San Francisco has criticized the group, writing in an email that the Briones Society wants to turn the party "left."

As of Thursday, election returns showed Briones Society candidates in the lead for several seats, although vote totals were small and only a few votes separated many candidates.

Jay Donde, president of the Briones Society, said he was feeling "very confident" about Tuesday's results.

"Our goal was to demonstrate that the Republican Party is a big tent, capable of embracing diverse viewpoints and working towards solutions that benefit all San Franciscans," Donde said. "The election of our candidates to the Republican County Central Committee is a clear indication that our message resonated with voters."

The San Francisco Department of Elections will count all vote-by-mail ballots received with valid postmarks delivered by mail by March 12. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.