After disappointing turnout in its last four local candidate endorsement votes, the Bar Association of San Francisco said it may discontinue its so-called “plebiscite vote.”
According to BASF, this year only 852 members cast ballots to endorse one of the five S.F. district attorney candidates. Voting closed Sept. 23 and the ballots were counted Monday.
Incumbent George Gascon received 274 of those votes. Immediately behind him with 215 and 200 votes were David Onek and Sharmin Bock, respectively. New race entrants Bill Fazio and Vu Trinh received 141 and 22 votes, respectively. One-third of members must cast a vote for BASF to endorse a candidate; this year, that meant 2,216 needed to vote.
BASF spokeswoman Ann Murphy said BASF didn't get enough votes to make an endorsement in its last plebiscite, for the 2003 DA race, nor in the 2002 public defender contest, or the 2001 city attorney's race.
In light of the tepid response, BASF's board will discuss the future of its plebiscites at an upcoming meeting, Murphy said, adding that it may just be that BASF members don’t want the organization to make endorsements. Instead, the board may choose to focus its energies on holding candidate forums and debates like the one BASF held to kick off the plebiscite this year. You can watch footage of that debate-style forum here: www.sfbar.org/plebiscite