Dems line up for chance to win seat on panelSan Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2008
The basement of San Francisco’s City Hall was the place to be Friday afternoon, as a pack of big-name politicos waited outside the Department of Elections to see who would file to run in June’s race for the Democratic County Central Committee - with many top names running themselves.
Though most voters don’t know much about the fairly obscure group - called "D-triple-C" in City Hall lingo - the organization holds tremendous sway over city elections and could greatly affect whether the city’s most liberal faction maintains majority control of the Board of Supervisors.
Seven of the 11 supervisor seats will be on the ballot in November. Four seats lack incumbents because of term limits. The election will be the first time progressive control of the board will be significantly challenged since 2000, and the DCCC’s powerful endorsement could have a dramatic impact.
The DCCC’s 24 seats are up for election every two years. Only Democrats can vote for the group’s leaders, who meet every month and work to educate voters, turn them out to the polls and raise money.
Progressive Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Chris Daly and Jake McGoldrick all filed papers to run for DCCC, as did some progressives running for supervisor in November, including school board member Eric Mar, Daly aide John Avalos, and Police Commissioner David Campos.
Sources said Mayor Gavin Newsom, a moderate, asked many members of his senior staff to run for DCCC to prevent a progressive takeover. Mike Farrah, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and Catherine Dodd, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff for health and human services, took out papers to run Friday.
"It’s no surprise that local politicians are staking out territory," said political consultant Alex Clemens. "Even though most voters in San Francisco don’t know who the members of the DCCC are, as a whole their endorsement is perhaps the most valuable organizational endorsement available."
Newsom said Friday morning he’d just learned about the progressive supervisors running for DCCC.
"It seems to be an effort to determine the fate and future of district supervisors ... and to advance their political agenda," Newsom said.
But both Peskin and Daly said Newsom was trying to take control of the committee by running his senior staff. They said their interest in the DCCC was motivated by the excitement over the presidential race more than anything else.
Peskin said he doesn’t think the DCCC should endorse candidates in local races because it can fracture the party. Daly disagreed and supports the local endorsements.
Forty-five people filed papers to run for the 24 seats as of late Friday afternoon, though the Department of Elections was still processing some filings and had to verify each candidate’s paperwork.
See this article in the San Francisco Chronicle