Kevin Faulconer will remain San Diego’s mayor for another four and a half years. He quite possibly is the most prominent Republican politician in the state of California now.
Scott Lewis says the win was a validation of what he calls the Faulconer Doctrine.
Big Night for Ladies, Start with City Attorney
She was overlooked a bit but Mara Elliott will advance in the intense race for city attorney in San Diego. She leapfrogged two much better funded Democratic rivals to earn a spot in the runoff against Republican Robert Hickey, who was always expected to end up in first placein the primary.
Andrew Keatts explains in a story just how that happened. It was quite a path.
And San Diego City Council
Democrat Barbara Bry is close to a stunning, outright victory in the San Diego City Council District 1 race. As of 3 a.m., she had 49.04 percent of the vote with almost all of the precincts counted. That’s just short of the majority she needs to avoid a runoff. However, thousands more provisional ballots remain to be counted so it’s not impossible she could cross the threshold. Republican Ray Ellis came in a distant second.
KPBS expects the race to go to a runoff. If it does, turnout for presidential elections tends to heavily favor Democrats and therefore Bry. And that would mean Democrats would hold onto a majority on the City Council and thus be set to pick the next Council President.
It was conventional wisdom just a few months ago that Ellis had a chance to win outright yesterday but not Bry and, in fact, she would need other candidates to pull votes from him. Ellis accused her of “stacking” the ballot when two new candidates did join the race unexpectedly.
Turns out, those candidates might have kept her from winning.
And County Supervisor
Kristin Gaspar, the mayor of Encinitas, earned the right to face Democrat Dave Roberts in the runoff for county supervisor in the District 3, North Coastal area. She beat out Sam Abed, the mayor of Escondido.
San Diego Gets Its Own Minimum Wage
• Proposition I, the measure business groups forced onto the ballot after the City Council raised the minimum wage passed with more than 60 percent of the vote. It raises the minimum wage a bit faster than the state will but also mandate five sick days for all employees. Proposition H also got more than 60 percent, the measure that sends future city revenue growth to an infrastructure lockbox. Here’s KBPS on Proposition H, Check the latest vote totals on the local propositions here.
New Council Starts to Take Shape
District 3 will have yet another progressive City Council representative who is openly gay. Democrat Chris Ward rolled to a win over Anthony Bernal, another Dem, Tuesday night, securing enough votes to win outright and avoid a November runoff.
Lisa Halverstadt looks back at the race and the three factors that helped Ward win, including some support from Republicans — one in particular — that might’ve spooked voters in the district, and some other missteps from Bernal.
While a Democrat was always certain to hang on to City Council District 9, just who that Democrat is remains up in the air until November.
Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez made it out of a four-way race.
Flores is the chief of staff to current District 9 Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who is not running for re-election. Flores ran with Emerald’s endorsement, but also with the backing of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee.
Gomez is the associate director of the Environmental Health Coalition. During the campaign, she carried around signs that said, “Shake Up City Hall!”
While they tried to distinguish themselves to get out of the primary, Flores and Gomez often talked along similar lines: about representing a diverse community, bringing more money into the district, public safety, affordable housing and denying a new Chargers stadium the benefit of taxpayer dollars. They also took similar positions on loosening the city’s lid on public employee pensions. It will be interesting to see how they attempt to distinguish themselves over the next several months.
With 80 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Flores received 37 percent of the vote and Gomez received 30 percent. They beat out third-place finisher Sarah Saez, a lobbyist for a group of taxi cab drivers, and Araceli Martinez, a family law attorney who finished fourth.
• Although Democratic City Councilman David Alvarez did not to protect his seat this year, he did have a race. He ran for a spot on the Democratic Central Committee and won. You might remember this was caused some major tensions with labor leader Mickey Kasparian. Alvarez raised money to promote his own slate of candidates for the Central Committee that competed with Kasparians. Looks like Alvarez got four of the six open spots in that Assembly district.
County Board of Education Squeakers
The Union-Tribune has an update on the tight races for County Board of Education. Mark Powell may have ousted incumbent Gregg Robinson in the district that covers most of the city of San Diego. The others are tight.
Golden State Election Highlights
Here’s a roundup of what we know or at least think we know (keeping in mind that final results may bring a change or two):
• At least one person of color has served as California’s senator before, and so have women. But this is new. Whatever happens in November, a Democratic woman of color will be our next U.S. senator. For the first time, no Republican will be in the runoff election. (538.com)
• Hillary Clinton won San Diego County in a Democratic primary for the second time, apparently by a larger margin than in 2008.
She won again statewide too with what looked to be a higher percentage this time than in 2008, with Sen. Bernie Sanders only taking some sparsely populated rural counties in the eastern and northern parts of the state. Not even San Francisco went for him.
• The national press got excited about a close race in, of all, places, the GOP-heavy North County congressional district of Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the most high-profile (and the wealthiest) people in the House. But he might be fine considering that the Orange County part of the district is still Issa country (see the latest results from there here), and it may be enough to carry him back into office come November.
• This chart shows how Democrats have slipped a bit in the state since 2000 while the GOP has fallen apart, registration-wise at least. (538)
• Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (I still get a thrill when I get to write “Governor” and “Schwarzenegger” in the same sentence) is defending Gonzalo Curiel, the San Diego federal judge who’s become Trump’s target of the week: “Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels. I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov.”
Schwarzenegger, by the way, voted for another governor, John Kasich, in the GOP primary. Kasich is no longer in the race.
• Speaking of Curiel: Why yes, this would be a classic trolling move for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The View from the Precincts
VOSD reporters fanned out across the county in search of voters willing to discuss their decisions at the ballot box.
“On the local level, everybody is pretty much the same,” said an Escondido supporter of Sanders for president. Huh. He must be new.
In North County, our Maya Srikrishnan fended off a persistent query about her ethnicity (“you clearly have an immigrant background,” a Trump voter said, “so that might make Trump worry you”) and heard from a couple voters who supported Republican Gaspar, the mayor of Encinitas, in her bid to unseat Roberts, the sole Democratic county supervisor.
“I like to be on top of local politics,” said one recent newcomer, “but it’s hard to figure out what the county does and what Encinitas does and how they adjoin.” You’re telling us! In fact, it turns out some of Gaspar’s supporters were a bit confused themselves about the role of the county supes.
• In downtown and neighborhoods around Balboa Park, our Lisa Halverstadt heard from Democrats about their passion for their presidential favorites and their worries about the local homeless problem.
One voter in North Park supported Ward for City Council because Bernal, his rival and fellow Democrat, wouldn’t support a $15-per-hour minimum wage. In downtown, Halverstadt found a voter who says he’s been homeless for three years; he’s a Clinton man.
“I’m a dreamer,” said a Sanders supporter, while a Clinton voter told us that he also likes Mayor Faulconer because he’s improving the streets. “He’s done some fine things with the city in a short time,” he said.
• In La Jolla and Carmel Valley, our Ashly McGlone heard from candidate antagonists: “That’s scary,” said one of Trump, while another declared “I don’t want Hillary Clinton to get anything else.” Here again, many voters declined to vote in local races because they felt they didn’t know enough about them; others voted anyway despite their gaps in knowledge.
A Pacific Beach resident, meanwhile, offered a weed-whacker-esque position: “I will vote Bernie, even though he has no chance of winning. I’m not quite happy with Hillary. Everybody needs a little cutting down every now and then.”
And we also heard this in La Jolla: “Can’t bitch if you don’t vote.” No, we’re not running that claim by San Diego Fact Check.
• Our contributing photographer Jamie Scott Lyle dropped by campaigns and a precinct to get a flavor of candidates and the voters on Election Day. Your guess is as good as mine about whether the guy in the last photo is a monk or he just woke up and strolled over to vote in a robe and sandals.
• We also dropped by District 9, which covers much of mid-city, where presidential hopes were on the minds of voters.
Culture Report: Starlight Rising?
If they hang around long enough, old buildings can gain a certain respectability. (There’s a saying about this, but never mind.) Unless they’re, say, Balboa Park’s decrepit Starlight Bowl.
The outdoor amphitheater has been down in the dumps, literally, for years. Now, a new volunteer group wants to save the Starlight, and it’s starting off with a clean-up/weed-pulling party later this month.
VOSD’s weekly Culture Report has more details on the possible rebirth of this onetime city gem that turned into a crumbling eyesore. “It’s a treasure for the city and a resource for the community,” says one booster.
Also in the Culture Report: More money for fancy lighting of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, a reprieve (of sorts) for UCSD’s art gallery, a new mural in Normal Heights and a David Bowie tribute band.
Police Defend March to Barrio Logan
A police spokesman tells CityBeat that cops pushed Trump rally protesters into Barrio Logan because the effort “was about trying to get a crowd split up and moved out of an area where they were fighting.”
Meanwhile, CityBeat has details about failed city attorney candidate and animal-rights activist Bryan Pease, who’s filed a $70,000 claim against the city because he says he got roughed up while walking backwards in front of a line of cops: “From the tackle and then sitting for 10 hours, I’ve had some back pain and I’ve been sick all week from the jail I think as well.” You can watch video of his takedown here, via NBC 7.
Quick News Hits: Church Chat
• Uh-oh: The Navy is warning that a GPS outage in much of the West on several days this month, but they’re promising that it should only affect pilots. The Gizmodo blog say the Navy is being cagey about what’s going on. All it can gather is that the outage seems to be connected to some sort of testing; certain business jets are being told to avoid the giant area entirely.
• “The number of unauthorized Chinese immigrants coming to San Diego has skyrocketed in recent years,” the U-T reports, “the result of a lucrative smuggling industry, mass emigration and a diversifying pool of unauthorized immigrants settling in the United States.”
• A polling place has appeared at Art Produce, an art gallery in North Park, apparently thanks to an owner who doesn’t like voting in churches.
Hmm. I vote at a Methodist church in Normal Heights, a switch from the olden days when I voted (and this is true) in a Clairemont mortuary, prompting plenty of jokes (by me, at least) about Chicago’s infamous cemetery-based electorate.
So which is a better polling place? The one that focuses on the above or the below? It’s hard to say. Maybe I’ll drop my ballot at the mortuary in November. That way I can truthfully say I voted with both body and soul in 2016.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and national president of the 1,200-member American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org). Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.