A couple loyal readers took me to task today for quoting John Kern in my story on the race for the District 3 seat on San Diego City Council. Kern contributed $270 — the maximum allowable for an individual — to Todd Gloria’s campaign. However, apart from his contribution, Kern is not involved in Gloria’s campaign.

Here is the section of the story that includes the Kern quote:

The differences in style that set Gloria and Whitburn apart belie a general sense among watchers of local politics that the winner in District 3 will not change City Council’s big picture. Either way the seat will be occupied by a young, progressive, Democrat. Give Gloria and Whitburn 10 issues, the consensus says, and they would probably cast the same vote on nine of them.

“I’m sure that if I looked hard I could find some ideological differences, but there won’t be many,” said John Kern, former chief of staff for Mayor Dick Murphy who is now a political consultant.

Ideologically, the races that will determine the new balance of power on City Council are in Districts 1 and 7, where traditional Republicans Phil Thalheimer and April Boling are squaring off against traditional Democrats Sherri Lightner and Marti Emerald.

But temperament and style matter too. Consider Frye, whom Whitburn cites as his mentor on council. She has on more than one occasion rubbed her fellow Democrats the wrong way. And she has already formed an alliance with Republican Councilman-elect Carl DeMaio, an alliance that could include Whitburn come December.

And Gloria’s belief in making change happen within the system could lead him to common ground with Boling who is also campaigning on the theme of reform from within


Kern’s quote, in my view, does not lend support to Gloria. It merely articulates a prevailing opinion among those watching the race. That being said, I should have noted Kern’s contribution.


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