Alain Stephens is Western correspondent for The Trace / Photo by Megan Wood

Assemblyman Todd Gloria has seemingly taken control of San Diego’s mayoral race after winning the Democratic Party’s endorsement Tuesday night.

The party’s endorsement is potentially pivotal because the race so far includes only Democrats, and registered Democrats in the city outnumber registered Republicans by nearly two to one.

Before the vote, a consideration was whether the other candidates, Councilwoman Barbara Bry and activist Tasha Williamson, could keep the party from endorsing anyone until after the primary in March.

Now that Gloria has won the endorsement vote handily, this means a few things for campaign spending and the still-available platform for the GOP. Hosts Andrew Keatts and Jesse Marx dig in to this strange moment in San Diego history when there’s no apparent Republican gunning for the mayor’s seat.

Speaking of Endorsements

Last weekend, Democratic leaders in North County met to consider an early endorsement in the District 3 Board of Supervisors’ race. Kristin Gaspar, a Republican, is running for reelection.

Democratic opponents Olga Diaz and Terra Lawson-Remer have been deemed by the aforementioned leaders as qualified candidates. Marx wrote about it his most recent North County report.

District 3 is a big one to watch in 2020. It could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Board of Supervisors.

Wild West Justice

This week, Alain Stephens, Western correspondent with The Trace, collaborated with Voice on a story about gun control in San Diego. He joined the podcast this week to talk about the story and what it could mean for the immediate future of gun control.

San Diego has issued more Gun Violence Restraining Orders (or GVROs) than any other county in California. Since 2017, police have seized more than 400 weapons and nearly 80,000 rounds of ammunition. GVROs are commonly called red flag laws, and City Attorney Mara Elliott is the apparent champion of the law in the state.

Stephens’ piece cites a few examples of when the law has been used. Essentially what happens is police can take someone’s guns when enough evidence is presented to show they may be a harm to themselves or others. That person can then petition to get their weapons back after a “cooling off period.”

But as Stephens says on the show, it’s worth monitoring the use of GVROs going forward, to make sure they aren’t over-used, abused, or used to marginalize already-marginalized communities.

The interview with Stephens starts at 23:00.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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