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In response to reader Simple Guy here is my take on next year’s City Council races. One disclosure: I am not a consultant to any candidate in these races. One caveat: something Pete Wilson told me in 1972 while we were walking in Indianapolis during a National League of Cities convention. Pete said of politics and running for office: “Six months is an eternity and a year is forever.” In other words, there is a lot of time left and anything can happen.

District 1

So far the candidates are Phil Thalheimer, Marshall Merrifield and Sharon Lightner. Because Thalheimer ran last time and has his own money, at this point he has to be considered the frontrunner. But Merrifield also has his own money and Lightner has a base in the community. I would say it is wide open at this point.

District 3

There are six candidates so far — Todd Gloria, John Hartley, James Hartline, Robert E. Lee, Kevin Mack, and Stephen Whitburn. Despite the fact that Hartley once held this seat, he is not considered a serious threat. The two main candidates are Gloria and Whitburn and I think Gloria not only is working harder, he has a better organization and a better message. My bet: Todd Gloria wins going away.

District 5

The candidates are Carl DeMaio, Bob Ilko and Mitz Lee. The insiders and the pundits see this race as Carl DeMaio winning handily. I disagree. DeMaio is widely know among the political illuminati, has his own money, and a fairly good PR machine. But let’s go back to the basics of campaigns. What is the candidate’s base? DeMaio and Ilko are both white male Republicans who base centers on Rancho Bernardo, the fabled deep well of votes. So they really split their own base. In addition, Mitz Lee is a Republican also. But look at Mitz Lee’s base: She is the only woman (52 percent of the voters are women); She is the only Asian (10 percent of the voters are Asian); She is the only candidate from Mira Mesa (37 percent of the voters are in Mira Mesa and it, not Rancho Bernardo, is the largest voting bloc in the District); and she is an elected official, a school board member (50 percent of the Council district overlaps her school board district). My bet — Mitz Lee.

District 7

The candidates are April Boling and Marti Emerald. This is another race where I disagree with the insiders and pundits who give the frontrunner status to Marti Emerald, mainly because she has been on TV as a journalist and a “trouble shooter.” But Council district residents are not voting for your TV personality. They are voting for someone to represent their district interests. And that is where April Boling shines. The heart and soul of the 7th District is the Navajo community where April has been active for 20 years or more. They know her. She has fought their fights, been to their meetings, lived and worked in their community. Why go with a TV persona when you can have a homegrown, hard-working person whom you have known for 20 years? My bet — April Boling.


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