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Ethics Commission Certifies Eligibility of First Publicly Financed Candidate in District 8 Board of Supervisor Race for the June 2018 Election

For release: Monday, January 29, 2018

As required by the City’s public campaign funding program, Ethics Commission Executive Director LeeAnn Pelham today announced the first certification of eligibility to receive public funds in connection with the June 5, 2018 Supervisorial District 8 race. Based on a review by Ethics Commission staff of Supervisor Jeff Sheehy’s Qualifying Request and supporting documentation, Sheehy’s campaign is now eligible to receive $20,000 as its initial grant of public funds from the San Francisco Election Campaign Fund.

“Public financing programs help reduce the pressure candidates can feel to raise campaign funds beyond what they need to communicate reasonably with voters,” Pelham said, “and public funds help candidates for city office spend less time fundraising and more time on issues that are important to San Franciscans.”

To qualify for public campaign funding, candidates for the Board of Supervisors are required to demonstrate that they have received qualifying contributions ranging from $10 to $100 totaling $10,000 from at least 100 residents of the City. Once the Ethics Commission certifies a candidate’s eligibility, various reporting requirements are triggered for all candidates in that race. To receive public funding, Supervisorial candidates must also agree to abide by a $250,000 campaign expenditure ceiling. Non-incumbent candidates may qualify to receive up to $155,000 in public funds for their campaign depending on the amount of matching contributions they raise, while incumbents may qualify to receive up to $152,500 in public funds. Under the law, only contributions raised from San Francisco residents are eligible to be matched. The Election Campaign Fund is funded through the City’s General Fund with an annual appropriation based on the number of city residents, up to a maximum Fund level of $7 million.

Before receiving any public funds, candidates certified as eligible by the Ethics Commission must also be certified as a candidate whose name will appear on the ballot. The City’s Department of Elections completed that certification of candidates on the June 2018 ballot in early January. Under a City law enacted in 2012, public funds may not be disbursed to candidates any earlier than 142 days before the election. All candidates who receive public funds are audited by the Ethics Commission after the election.

For more information, contact the Ethics Commission at (415) 252-3100.

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