Nathan Fletcher is running for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Three races in a row, Republican groups and the United Food and Commercial Workers union dumped tons of money into sinking Nathan Fletcher.

This time, it didn’t work.

A big reason for that, writes Scott Lewis, is because this time Fletcher had another group of unions in his corner.

It was the kind of base he never had before,” Lewis writes. “His support in the past had been distributed among various constituencies with many affluent supporters. It left him able to raise a lot of money but never to balance out the attacks he endured.”

Now the question is whether Fletcher feels like he owes the unions something for their efforts. One union leader told Lewis she believes Fletcher has the potential to be one of labor’s biggest champions.

The Decisive DA Vote

Two election cycles in a row, one of the hottest local races ended up being between two attorneys.

In 2016, it was the San Diego city attorney’s race, which Mara Elliott won.

This year, the San Diego County district attorney’s race became one of the most unexpectedly contentious in the county. Outside groups poured in over $1 million to help Democrat Geneviéve Jones-Wright, a public defender, who became the first candidate to unapologetically run as a reformer in a region with a long history of tough-on-crime prosecutors.

She lost big time to Summer Stephan, who got to run in her first election as an incumbent, after Bonnie Dumanis resigned the seat and installed Stephan, a trusted aide, as her successor.

In the end, it’s clear that San Diego hasn’t changed much, despite years of talk by political strategists about shifting demographics: San Diegans elected a career prosecutor to be their top prosecutor.

“People who were never interested in politics are tracking only this race, because I think I’ve explained maybe clearer than has been explained before how important the DA’s office is,” Stephan said.

  • The power of incumbency proved itself in races across California, including those George Soros had attempted to influence. The liberal billionaire invested heavily in Jones-Wright and other progressive candidates and struck out in nearly all of those district attorney races. (Union Tribune)
  • inewsource has an interactive map of how each precinct voted in the county and congressional races if you want to see how your neighbors compare.

Levin Declares (a Second-Place) Victory in the 49th

Environmental attorney Mike Levin declared Wednesday that his ticket to the November election has been punched, even though the candidate challenging Levin for the No. 2 spot in the race, Democrat Sara Jacobs, is promising to wait until every ballot had been counted before she concedes.

Levin told Voice, “We feel that we’ve won.”

He intends to highlight differences between himself and Republican Diane Harkey on climate and energy policy and gun violence prevention.

Harkey is also assuming her opponent in November will be Levin. His “priorities are massive tax increases to pay for a single-payer, government-run health care system,” she said in a press release. “Mine are to decrease the tax burden, expand the economy and secure the border.”

In Other News

  • A federal court in San Diego dismissed part of a lawsuit that the ACLU brought against the Trump administration, saying the government’s practice of separating minors and their parents who are seeking asylum violates their due process rights, but does not violate the asylum statute. The case will proceed on constitutional grounds. The judge said the government’s alleged conduct “shocks the conscience,” Courthouse News’ Bianca Bruno and Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner reported on Twitter.
  • Two Democrats are likely to proceed to the November general election in the 76th Assembly District. That would have been unimaginable a couple years ago, but, as Voice contributor Ruarri Serpa notes in this week’s North County Report, Democratic voter rolls exploded there after the election of President Donald Trump.
  • Two write-in candidates to sit on the board of the San Diego Unified School District advanced to the general election. (KPBS)
  • A San Diego Superior Court judge who was censured by a state commission and rated as “lacking qualifications” by the San Diego County Bar Association will advance to the November general election. But his two opponents got nearly 70 percent of the vote, suggesting Judge Gary Kreep’s job could be at risk. (KPBS)
  • A civil grand jury recommended that the city bring back a program to reduce unnecessary responses to 911 calls, an issue we reported on back in 2013. Ambulances get dispatched even when they are not needed. (Times of San Diego)
  • A court approved a settlement between the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and its former spokesperson, who said she was fired because of gender and age bias. (Times of San Diego)

The Morning Report was written and compiled by Ry Rivard and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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