San Francisco activist David Lee announced Friday that he will run for California’s 19th State Assembly district seat, The San Francisco Standard reports.
The 54-year-old Chinese American made the announcement in San Francisco’s Richmond district. Lee has unsuccessfully run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors three times, The Standard reports. The hope is this election will be different.
The seat will be vacated by current Assembly Phil Ting after the 2024 elections because of term limits. Ting attended Lee’s announcement Friday to show his support.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Lee currently works as the director of the Asian Pacific American Student Success Program at Laney College in Oakland. He was a Recreation and Park commissioner in the 2000s and early 2010s, The Standard reports.
Ballotpedia lists Lee as nonpartisan but the candidate told The Chronicle he is a “strong Democrat.” The Standard reports that he has received endorsements from progressives in San Francisco like “Supervisor Connie Chan, former Supervisors Norman Yee and Sandra Lee Fewer, and retired Judge Lillian Sing.”
Lee will face stiff competition from San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who, according to The Chronicle, has support from several veteran Democrats.
“It’s vitally important to step up and show leadership at this critical time,” he said, according to The Chronicle. “We don’t need another career politician insider representing our district.”
Stefani’s campaign team member Mark Mosher issued a statement criticizing Lee’s lack of experience.
“Voters should be concerned that David Lee doesn’t have the experience, skills, consistent beliefs or broad support necessary to deliver major change on crime and homelessness in the district,” Mosher said, according to The Standard.
But Lee’s supporters believe his experience with the community is valuable.
“We really need to have someone that understands our community, has been in the community, has served our community,” Ting told The Standard. “David has been working in our community for decades behind the scenes.”
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