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Back when I first started dating my husband, I was in charge of covering House, Senate and governors races at Politico.

We were having lunch near my office once – a rare joy since we lived in separate states at the time – when I got a message on my Blackberry (lol) that a long-serving but unremarkable member of Congress had just announced his retirement. In my frantic, mid-meal scramble to get up and report the news, I knocked over a chair as I fled the dining room, to my date’s great embarrassment. I think he had a real moment where he wondered if this lunatic who had smoke coming out of her ears over a run-of-the-mill congressional retirement was the right choice.

I didn’t knock over any chairs this week when Rep. Susan Davis announced her retirement, but it did certainly generate that same electric feeling.

There’s just something about that small window when a political seat represents nothing but possibility. Once the field is set, there’s only so many ways a race can go – and the campaign tends to become a slog of candidate talking points and insult-trading.

Take the neighboring 50th District, where candidates like Rep. Duncan Hunter, Ammar Campa-Najjar and Carl DeMaio are already locked in the race. Hunter in 2018 ran truly the most appalling, shameful Islamophobic campaign in recent memory. I don’t see any reason to believe he’ll change up the playbook this time around. Add DeMaio into the mix and you’re certain to have more press conferences about why liberal cities are filled with rats, and why the filth of public transportation makes Diane Harkey want to “hose off at the depot.”

Politics in general can be so negative and soul-crushing. We might as well savor these rare moments when they literally make us leap out of our chairs because of the excitement and opportunity.

What VOSD Learned

This chart- and data-heavy story from Andrew Keatts lays out just how San Diego’s housing crisis got so dire.


Several presidential candidates have unveiled plans to boost teacher diversity, so Will Huntsberry took the opportunity to survey teacher diversity at every district across the county. Meanwhile, Kayla Jimenez details how investigations into teacher misconduct vary widely from school to school and district to district.


Sexual assault complaints at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility surged by 158 percent last year.

A Baja California official recently touted efforts to build a cross-border trolley – but there’s plenty standing in the way of such a project.


On the podcast, we drafted our picks for who we think is most likely to run for the seat in Congress being vacated by Rep. Susan Davis in 2020. In the Politics Report, Scott and Andy did a comprehensive breakdown of the contenders.

Three of the biggest potential candidates for CA-53 are members of the state Legislature but have ruled out jumping into the race. Here’s more on what they’re up to in their day jobs, including a bill to expand the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and a bill to require the city’s massive Pure Water project to sign union-friendly contracts.


Two small agencies are looking to leave the San Diego County Water Authority – but the Water Authority isn’t going to just let them go quietly.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week





This glorious headline had me singing a line from the new Taylor Swift album: “They say home is where the heart is, but God I love the English.”

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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