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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

March Election a Mixed Bag for Medicine

After confirming many elections experts’ fear that turnout would be exceedingly low, the March 5, 2024, primary election saw dominating incumbents, disappointment on ballot measures, and razor thin margins that may lead to recounts. As of this writing, there are nearly 2 million votes left to be counted in California, 100,000 in San Francisco, and 9,000 in Marin. The Secretary of State has until April 12 to certify all results.

For the San Francisco Marin Medical Society, here are the main takeaways:

  • Low turnout favored moderate/conservative candidates/causes.
  • CMA/SFMMS-supported CA Proposition 1 (mental health facilities and funding) is slightly ahead, but remains too close to call – and could be for weeks if a recount is paid for by the opponents.
  • SFMMS-supported Measure A (affordable housing bond) looks poised to pass with just over the 66.6 percent needed (currently at 70 percent).
  • SFMMS-opposed Measure F (require addiction treatment for welfare recipients) is likely to pass, despite opposition from the medical community.  
  • Incumbents faced very little challenge to their seats.

Low voter turnout levels historically favor more conservative candidates and causes, as conservative voters have proven more reliable at turning out to vote. No greater example of this can be seen than in the statewide results for the U.S. Senate seat where the leading Democratic candidate Adam Schiff and Republican candidate Steve Garvey are in a statistical dead heat, despite the State’s overwhelming Democratic voter registration advantage. While most election experts believe Schiff will easily win over Garvey in the General election in November, the low turnout of the Primary election (and split democratic ticket) led to this currently close race. In San Francisco, the lean toward more moderate candidates/outcomes can be seen in the race for control of the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), the organization that decides party endorsements in supervisorial, mayoral, and ballot measures contests. It is likely that a slate of moderates will dominate their more progressive counterparts, possibly holding them to only three out of 24 seats. This is a complete flip of four years ago, when progressives won all but two seats on the DCCC.


SFMMS took three positions during this election – supporting California Proposition 1 and San Francisco Measure A, while opposing San Francisco Measure F.

  • As of this writing, Proposition 1 is slightly ahead 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, but it may take weeks to determine the final result. The ballot measure would authorize $6.38 billion in bonds to build housing and residential treatment facilities for people with mental illness; shift some county mental health dollars back to the State government; and increase the percentage counties must spend on housing for people with severe mental illness and addiction.
  • Measure A, to sell $300 million in bonds to support affordable housing is trending in the right direction with 70 percent of voters saying ‘Yes’ and 30 percent saying ‘No’ (it requires 66.7 percent support to pass).
  • Measure F, to require drug screening and treatment to receive county welfare, looks likely to pass, with 58 percent in support.

Other Election Results

  • In Congressional races, incumbents Nancy Pelosi (San Francisco) and Jared Huffman (Marin) should easily cruise to re-election in the House of Representatives.

  • In the open State Assembly race to replace San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting, Democratic Supervisor Catherine Stefani holds a commanding 60 percent to 28 percent lead over her nearest competitor, democrat David Lee, whom she will face in the November General Elections

  • In the other local State Assembly and State Senate races, the incumbents all cruised to easy victories, including Assemblymembers Matt Haney (SF) and Damon Connolly (Marin), and Senator Scott Wiener (SF).

  • Two seats on Marin County’s Board of Supervisors are to be decided this year. The District 4 seat will continue to be held by incumbent Dennis Rodoni, who avoided a runoff by soundly beating Francis Drouillard, an engineer and former member of the Marin County Republican Central Committee. In the race to replace retiring supervisor Katie Rice in District 2, San Anselmo City Councilman Brian Colbert and a former Kentfield School District trustee Heather McPhail Sridharan appear to be headed to a November runoff, with Colbert seven points shy of avoiding a runoff and Sridharan in second place with 26 percent of the vote.

  • San Francisco Measure B, a police staffing initiative, looks very likely to fail with 73 percent of voters rejecting the measure.

  • San Francisco Measure C, a tax cut on real estate transfers of commercial to residential properties, is winning but currently too close to call, 53 to 47 percent.

  • San Francisco Measure D, which add further good government amendments to local ethics laws, is very likely to pass, currently sitting at 89 to 11 percent.

  • San Francisco Measure E, to add flexibility to police policies and procedures (including additional surveillance abilities), is likely to pass, currently sitting at 54 to 46 percent.

  • San Francisco Measure G, a nonbinding initiative encouraging the SF School Board to bring back Algebra 1 for eighth graders, is very likely to pass with more than 80 percent support.

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