Meet Joseph Hartman. He’s a 31-year-old technology integration specialist for the San Diego County Office of Education. He’s a registered member of the Green Party and has lived in San Diego for 10 years. He’s also a much better political prognosticator than you.

Hartman was the only one to win our Election Day bet last week, correctly predicting the decisions in nine local and state races. Hartman bested the 41 other people who entered, a roster that included some of San Diego’s top public officials, business and labor leaders.

Unlike many others who entered the contest, Hartman doesn’t do politics for a living. He just likes to follow them.

“I used to watch ‘Hardball’ back in the day and yell at the TV like everyone else,” Hartman said in an interview the morning after his victory.

Hartman’s strategy wasn’t all that in-depth. He simply went Republican for his picks, figuring the party faithful were fired up this time. For San Diego City Council races, he believed a potentially illegal donation was enough to sink District 8 candidate Felipe Hueso in his race against eventual victor, David Alvarez. In the closely fought District 6 race, Hartman picked winner Lorie Zapf though it was “a total absolute guess.”

The prize for Hartman’s perfection will be a lunch with me and my colleague, Scott Lewis. (Cue joke about if that’s more of a punishment than a reward.) You might recall the original purpose of the bet was a throw down between me and Lewis. I’m happy to report that I beat Lewis soundly, though my picks weren’t nearly as good as Hartman’s. I’m also happy to report that Lewis will be buying lunch for both of us.

Despite earning this lunch and the respect of all in political San Diego for his picks, Hartman was humble in victory.

“I don’t take too much pride in it,” he said. “Politics is like a casino sometimes. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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