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Only one-and-a-half of the City of San Diego elections next year are even mildly interesting. Steve Francis will not challenge Jerry Sanders for mayor because he’s setting himself up for either mayor or another office and he doesn’t want to upset what he hopes will become his Republican base. When Francis doesn’t run, Donna Frye doesn’t have a chance, so she won’t run either. Dan Coffey is the only attorney in town who is foolish enough to challenge City Attorney Mike Aguirre. Phil Thalheimer is willing to spend millions again to win in the city’s 1st Council District. Todd Gloria is odds-on favorite in the race to replace Toni Atkins in the 3rd District.
The 5th District, with Carl DeMaio, is the 0.5 percent interesting race only because some highly placed, well-financed moderate Republicans will support either Bob Ilko or Mitz Lee. Other anti-DeMaio Republicans find supporting DeMaio’s opponents distasteful, so there may be an “anyone-but-DeMaio” independent expenditure. In addition, since DeMaio came out in San Diego Magazine a few months ago, LGBT activists are hoping to shine a spotlight on him, which will not go over well with the rock-ribbed Rancho Bernardo Republicans who have historically decided the fate of 5th District aspirants.
The 7th District will be fun to watch. Republican campaign finance professional and former San Diego Taxpayer’s Association Chairwoman April Boling will take on Democrat Marti Emerald, the high-profile 10News “Trouble Shooter” (although she hasn’t officially announced). The 7th District’s voter registration is almost even, with 37.5 percent Democrat and 36.9 percent Republican. Of course, it’s always said at this point that City Council races are non-partisan. However, in reality and in recent practice, they are.
Those who will swing the 7th District election are the 21 percent of district voters who are non-aligned (plus the 2.2 percent who are members of the American Independent Party, most of whom joined because it has “Independent” in it’s name and who have no idea that pro-segregationist George Wallace was it’s nominee for President in 1968). That means about 22.5 percent of the 7th District’s voters will receive a deluge of information from both candidates about how “independent” they are and how they will fight “the downtown establishment.” No matter Boling is the personification of “political insider.”
In fact, Republicans have already been in the field with an extensive poll to gauge how solid Boling’s Republican base will be, as well as testing positive and negative messages and message carriers. I haven’t seen any results, but I’m willing to bet that Emerald’s name identification, combined with her pro-consumer “trouble-shooter” status, is giving her a sizeable lead. She should get enough votes on name identification alone to take the seat (and a substantial reduction in salary).
Therefore, the Democrats on the City Council will retain their 5 to 3 majority because District 1 will switch from Democrat to Republican and District 7 will switch from Republican to Democrat, while everything else remains the same.
As I said, mildly interesting.
Since we have figured out all of the San Diego City elections, does anyone want to discuss other City Councils? The County Board of Supervisors? Is there a contest anywhere in the County that will raise more than a curious eyebrow?
— CHRIS CROTTY