Follies and foibles? We’ve had a few this campaign season, but not as many as usual. In fact, Decision 2014: The June Primary has largely been a dutiful and earnest affair thanks to the lack of major contested races.

But we’ve still had a few head-scratching moments. Here’s a review of the good, the bad and the just plain unusual.

Weirdest (and Wildest) Campaign Ad

When it comes to animal-related weirdness, nothing may ever top the infamous “demon sheep” ad of the 2012 California campaign for U.S. Senate. But supporters of San Diego Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who’s trying to get re-elected in a new district, is almost as bananas.

A campaign mailer supporting Zapf features a photo of a warthog, horns and all, next to a photo of a pothole. “The worst enemy of the warthog is the lion,” the mailer says. “The worst enemy of a pothole is Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.”

Yes, warthogs aren’t big fans of lions. Just ask National Geographic.

But while an Internet search turned up several videos of lions vs. warthogs, there’s nothing that shows Zapf stalking potholes, ripping them to shreds and feasting upon their remains.

In her defense, we recently confirmed the councilwoman’s statement that “I had more pothole repairs in my district last year than any other because we report them for you.”

Now that’s wild stuff.

Oddest Vandalism Strategy

The campaign of Carl DeMaio, who’s running for Congress, reported this week that its headquarters was vandalized.

What did the vandals do? Cut cords. Lots of them. “Almost every cord inside the entire office — phone cords, communications, network cords, power cords — appears to have been cut,” a spokesman told Politico.

Maybe the vandal wants to boost sales at Radio Shack?

Miss Congeniality, Campaign Division

There’s a good chance you haven’t heard a thing about San Diego’s Prop. A, and with good reason: Everybody seems to like it. So much so that nobody’s filed a statement in opposition.

The ballot measure makes a couple minor changes to the timing of inauguration day for newly elected mayors and the time allowed for a run-off after a special election for City Council or mayor.

The “housekeeping” tweaks seem to be entirely acceptable and entirely uncontroversial. Don’t make a habit of this sort of efficiency, local government! We journalists will be out of work.

A (Political) Picture Worth 1,000 Words

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is facing stiff competition in her bid to stay in office. Her official office website devotes a hefty 1,000 words toher background, including this unusual summary: “She’s spent her entire career in public service and her unique blend of experience — three-term District Attorney, Superior Court Judge and Clerk Typist — has given her the skills to successfully reorganize and run one of the largest criminal justice operations in California.”

Yes, she started her career as a typist, a gig “she considers extremely important in shaping her approach to government organization and management.”

From the Left, with Love

Someone’s sending out campaign mailers accusing Councilwoman Lorie Zapf of being a pretend conservative: “We trusted her, but we’re too smart to do that again.” The mailers support Libertarian candidate Mark Schwartz.

Hmm. The Libertarians have enough money for campaign ads? Nope. These mailers are courtesy of local labor organizations. You know, the ones that prefer that people vote Democrat.

What’s going on? Sneakiness. The idea, apparently, is to push conservatives away from Zapf, allowing her Democratic opponent, Sarah Boot, to get enough votes to force a November run-off election.

Most Amusing Newspaper Endorsement

CityBeat offers its usual left-leaning election endorsements for federal, local and state offices. Here’s one that you might not have seen coming: “We like to endorse at least one token Republican each election, so we’re picking Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin for state controller, if only because we’re having too much fun imagining her running the office like Al Swearengen ran business in HBO’s ‘Deadwood’: ‘Here’s my counter-offer to your counter-offer: Go fuck yourself.’”

OK, that is fun to imagine.

Mudslinging and Sam’s Club, Together at Last

The county office of education hardly has a high profile, but the campaign for a board seat has spawned actual attack ads this year. In a campaign mailer, candidate Alicia Muñoz touts her education experience and zings opponent Katie Dexter, a Lemon Grove school board member.

What’s wrong with Dexter? She’s “unqualified,” says the mailer, which notes that she “works as an invoice clerk at Sam’s Club.”

“Give Katie the F she deserves,” says the ad, funded by the American Federation of Teachers union. For good measure, the ad calls Dexter a “failed politician.”

Huh. An invoice clerk, eh? Maybe Muñoz should heed a plaque that District Attorney Dumanis’ website says is in her office: “The clerk helping in your division today may be your boss tomorrow.”

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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