In early 2010, we took a long look at District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and declared her to be San Diego’s most powerful politician. Her current run for mayor is now testing that label, as polls show her consistently trailing her three competitors as Election Day nears.

By necessity and choice, we’ve spent much of the mayoral campaign focused on where the candidates stand on the issues and digging into the backgrounds of Nathan Fletcher and Carl DeMaio. We prioritized Fletcher and DeMaio because, as newer arrivals to local politics, they appeared to have more significant unanswered questions about their backgrounds that needed looking into.

That’s meant less time to explore the backgrounds of Dumanis and Bob Filner. Luckily, we’d already done a five-part special report on the district attorney’s career, called The Rise of Dumanis.

Here’s a quick guide to the series:

Part I: How Bonnie Dumanis Became San Diego’s Most Powerful Politician

She is being recruited to run for mayor and state attorney general. Hers is the most coveted endorsement in town, and nobody in politics or law enforcement wants to cross her.

Part II: She’s Got Power and She’s Willing to Use It

DA Bonnie Dumanis’ endorsement is golden, but how and when she’s used it has caused complications.

Part III: The DA’s Power to Disappoint

As she has risen to be the county’s most powerful politician, Bonnie Dumanis used her clout in questionable ways, handing out political retribution and pursuing cases that later proved disastrous.

Part IV: The Savvy Incumbent with Legislative Success

State and county leaders have lauded Dumanis as an innovator with the statewide political clout to turn her ideas into reality.

Part V: DA’s Budgets Go Up While Others Go Down

The boost comes as crime hits a 25-year low and the District Attorney’s Office settles more cases than ever.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at or 619.325.0526.

Like VOSD on Facebook.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.