David Lee Files to Run Against Eric Mar in District 1

Categories: Politics
David Lee -- not to be confused with the Warriors' rebounder
Eric Mar, the supervisor who has kept The Richmond safe from Happy Meals, stripper vans, and a bizarre combination of both is checking his rearview mirror today.

David Lee, a longtime Mar critic, S.F. State lecturer, and executive director of the Chinese American Voter Education Committee (CAVEC) officially filed to run against the incumbent Mar in November's District 1 supervisorial race.

This is unsurprising. But, for Mar, it is also unwelcome. Ranked-choice voting is a huge security blanket for weak incumbents. That said, he is still a weak incumbent. It will be interesting to watch Team Mar assemble talking points to allow him to run on his record of the past four years. And, demographically, the district he won by a fingernail in 2008 -- during a massive Obama-fueled voter turnout -- has taken a turn to the right.

Lee, by the way, knows this. Perhaps better than anybody.

As the executive director of CAVEC, Lee is one of the city's most fervent mavens in the field of redistricting. He has mentioned, to many reporters and crowds of political wonks, how things would have gone differently for Mar in his '08 race against Sue Lee if only a couple of more right-leaning neighborhoods were included in District 1. Well, guess what -- now they are.

Eric Mar small.jpg
Supervisor Eric Mar
The city's redistricting committee lumped a wealthy section along Lake Street into the district. Looking at the income levels and voting patterns, D1 just got more moderate. It's not nearly as moderate as it would have been if Seacliff was included -- and not nearly as progressive as it would have been if the North Panhandle was grafted in. But, let us reiterate, Mar won in '08 by the slightest of margins. Progressive voters are not going to be heading out in force to punch the ticket for Change We Can Believe In this time around. And, this time, he has some 'splaining to do.

Lee claims CAVEC has helped register 100,000 new Chinese voters in this city in the past decade over the years.

Some of them, it stands to reason, live in District 1. And like Happy Meals.

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Steve Chessin
Steve Chessin

You say, without justification, "Ranked-choice voting is a huge security blanket for weak incumbents."  I note that incumbents are always at an advantage, no matter what the voting system.


It's my understanding that David Lee is an Insurance Salesman??  Does he do that in addition to being a College Professor, Exec Director, etc??If so I'm not sure where he'll find time to run for office.


Why is David Lee always billed as the executive director of the Chinese American Voter Education Committee (CAVEC)? CAVEC is a bogus organization that doesn't have a base or represent anyone. It's an organization of 1 person.


Oops...you’ve missed David Lee’s huge liability. He is a member of the Recreation and Park Commission. Yep, the same one that has a target on its back for everything from the condition of fields to restrooms to putting meters in Golden Gate Park, not to mention Stowe Lake, or the Arboretum, or the finagling with lobbyists. Sorry, David Lee also can’t accept any contributions from those who had business before Rec and Park for the past six months. Like the America’s Cup, etc etc etc. Too bad, because that’s the real story. Even Willie Brown recently wrote that city commissioners shouldn’t run at the same time for an election.

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