Election of Chesa Boudin as SF District Attorney Shows SF Voters Not Afraid of 'Radical Change,' Professor McDaniel Says

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- The political environment of San Francisco is different from that of other cities, said Jason McDaniel, a Political Science professor at San Francisco State University.

It is so thoroughly blue that it has long elected liberal Democrats as district attorneys. That includes George Gascón, who abruptly quit as the city’s district attorney last month to run for the same office in Los Angeles County.

“What this election shows is that voters are not scared off by candidates who go even farther to the left of liberal Democrats to propose pretty radical change to the way the criminal justice system works,” McDaniel said. “It’s a continuation of something we’ve seen in San Francisco for a couple of decades, but we’ve seen it pick up steam nationwide.”

McDaniel said the real test will be whether candidates like Boudin can carry out the sweeping reforms they’ve pledged.

“Will they get buy-in from the rank-and-file workers in the criminal justice system, the D.A.s, the sheriff?” he said. “That is not something that’s guaranteed.”