Correction: The original version of this story said District 8 City Council candidate B.D. Howard finished fourth, not third. We regret the error.

A funny thing happened on the way to a November runoff election featuring an incumbent San Diego school board member and a rival.

On Tuesday night, it looked like Katherine Nakamura had landed in second place in her race behind middle school teacher Kevin Beiser. Not exactly an inspiring performance, but at least she was still in it and, in the fall, could still win it.

Or could she? Nakamura woke up yesterday morning to smell the toast burning: She was 59 votes behind another candidate, businessman Stephen Rosen. If that holds up, she’ll be out of the runoff.

The sound you hear is all the jaws dropping across the school district. Those jaws had already been a bit unhinged by the results of another primary race, between incumbent John de Beck and political consultant Scott Barnett. It turned out to be the toughest primary challenge that de Beck’s faced in nearly two decades on the board, and it’s runoff-bound too.

In our analysis piece, we talk to observers and hear from a candidate who fesses up to being “lazy” during his campaign.

In other news:

• New blood? No way. For a decade and a half, that’s been the message of voters in races for county supervisor. The same five people, all Republicans, have held their jobs since then.

The same might be true for another four years, but the odds dropped a bit this week. Supervisors Ron Roberts and Bill Horn, who represent areas of North County and San Diego, respectively, are facing runoff elections.

Our story explains what you can expect from now until November. We also hear from both incumbents and Roberts’ challenger, Stephen Whitburn.

Roberts has an especially interesting comment when asked about the election results: “You guys have to see trends and be suspicious and look under every rock.”

Maybe that explains why it’s always so dark in here. Anybody got a flashlight?

• In the very tight City Council District 8 race, candidate David Alvarez and Felipe Hueso look to be headed to a runoff election in November. But third-place finisher B.D. Howard isn’t conceding, saying absentee and provisional ballots could give him the 200 votes he needs to pull ahead of Hueso.

• Intrigue and the county assessor: now there are two things that normally don’t go together. But the job — technically the county assessor/recorder/clerk — is up for grabs for the first time since the early 1980s. Tuesday’s vote is headed to a runoff. We chronicled the twists and turns behind the race back in April.

• Thanks to willing voters back in 2005, the San Diego mayor became super-powered for five years. Now he’s even more muscular thanks to yesterday’s victory for Prop. D, the strong-mayor (technically, stronger mayor) ballot measure.

How did this happen while the city is deteriorating, as is obvious to anyone who drives our roads or visits our libraries? As columnist Scott Lewis explains, Mayor Jerry Sanders “has remarkably never suffered politically.”

To put it another way: Few voters seemed to think, “The city’s a mess, and the mayor stinks. No way I’m giving him any more influence.”

Why? Because Sanders is a sunny guy. “His strategists use the mayor’s avuncular charisma when they can and work tirelessly to keep him from getting wrapped into any sort of polemic,” Lewis writes. “It’s like we’re standing on the pier, watching our giant ship slowly sink and joking about it with the captain.”

Interesting metaphor. Where’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet when you need them? 

• Real-estate columnist Rich Toscano is feeling a bit frothy. Hmm. Is it time to get him a rabies shot? Yes. Yes it is.

But he’s actually talking about Froth Day (it was yesterday, so it’s too late to get a card). The day commemorates the anniversary of when “Alan  Greenspan conjured up that harmless-sounding euphemism for what was in fact a record-breaking and (eventually) economy-crushing speculative housing bubble.”

Toscano was one of the few naysayers back then who didn’t think the housing bubble (and housing prices) would keep growing forever. Back then, of course, that was crazy talk.

• It’s time once again for the San Diego People Project at the Photo of the Day. This week’s subject is 11-year-old Tyler Gange, who plays a mean bass and likes Paul McCartney. Check our interview with Tyler: It’s a real treat and reveals that he’s already dealt with the trauma that faces so many musicians: his band broke up.

No word on whether some little girl named Yoko was involved.

• As you may have noticed, we photographed the election in black and white. What did you think?

Also: if you’re hankering to see more photos from Golden Hall, photographer and contributor Will Parson has posted a bunch of nice ones.


• Here’s the headline of the week: “Man Apologizes For Burying Dead Mother In Back Yard.” And this wasn’t just any man: he’s a former UCSD history professor who disposed of Mom at his Clairemont home and then proceeded to cash her checks — for more than $300,000 for more than 10 years. He’s pleaded guilty and may avoid prison time, 10News reports.

• Finally, San Diego State professor Esther Rothblum is quoted in an story about a study that says gay men are skinnier than straight men and lesbians are fatter than straight women.

Esther Rothblum told that men — gay or straight — put more pressure on their partners to be skinny and attractive. In personal ads, she said, males tend to seek young and thin, while females typically “say they are looking for someone with good sense of humor, intelligence, and creativity.”

Have I mentioned that the single young men at are funny, smart and full of ideas? (They are so going to owe me for this.) 


Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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