The San Diego County Administration Center logo / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego County will have a whole new Board of Supervisors this November, as the remaining officials who were first elected in the 1990s step down because of term limits. What’s still unclear is how the new group of politicians will govern.

It depends largely on the outcome of the District 3 race. If Supervisor Kristin Gaspar holds on to her seat, Republicans will have a 3-2 majority. If Terra Lawson-Remer wins, the Democrats take control.

One of the biggest debates this election season has been over the county’s $2 billion savings account in a post-COVID world. Conservatives have long prided themselves on how much money they’d set aside for a rainy day, just like the one we’re experiencing now. 

In a new story, Jesse Marx surveyed the Republican contenders on a range of topics, including policing, homelessness, transit and the environment, to get a sense of how the county’s priorities might change going forward. 

“A new GOP-majority board in 2021 may end up in the same spot ideologically as the current one, making tweaks around the margins rather than the reforms and broader cultural shift that Democrats are talking about,” Marx writes. “Yet its members seem acutely aware of the optics of continuing to hoard money while discussions about income inequality and racial justice dominate the discourse.”

Earlier this month, Marx also surveyed Democrats on how they would govern if they take power. 

Your San Diego Election Questions, Answered

Wanna get into the nitty gritty on San Diego election stuff? Check out the Reddit AMA with Voice of San Diego’s CEO, Scott Lewis, who dove into readers’ questions about the election – or the details of his garage office and Zoom background.

What’s a “San Diego problem,” one reader asked, referring to the way Voice of San Diego podcast hosts talk about San Diego politics“There’s a kind of junior varsity flair to our politics locally. I think it is heavily weighted to punish big, decisive impactful moves and reward caution,” Lewis wrote. “I think a lot of that comes from the fact that San Diego is full of people who like it the way it is. … We have to learn to hear criticism and fierce debate without thinking it’s a bad thing but rather could lead to compromise and consensus.”

That “fierce debate” often reveals itself via character attacks between candidates instead of actual policy differences. That’s true in many races where candidates from the same party are trying to set themselves apart like the San Diego mayoral race, a couple county supervisor races and the 53rd Congressional District. 

One reader also asked how they should make an educated decision about down-ballot races like school board or judges. Lewis shared some helpful links and ideas, like referring to the San Diego County Bar Association’s judicial candidate ratings. 

Speaking of Voting …

While we’re on the election topic, San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters tweeted Tuesday afternoon that it received 500,000 ballots already. That’s a 300 percent increase from this time last general election cycle in November of 2016, it said. 

San Diego County Avoids the Dreaded Purple Tier Because of … Reasons?

The California Public Health Department website noted Tuesday that San Diego County’s adjusted case rate was 7.1 per 100,000 people, which could have meant tougher restrictions on businesses. The county, however, said the adjusted case rate was actually 7.0, and the state confirmed it, KPBS reported. 

Oopsies! Looks like another week in the red tier. 

Still, officials are putting the public on alert locally. “If the county’s adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests remains above 7.0 per 100,000 for two consecutive weeks, it would move into the purple tier for at least three weeks,” CBS 8 reported. “The purple tier would force nearly all non- essential indoor businesses to close.”

Riverside County wasn’t so lucky. It got purple’d by the state, City News Services reported in so many words. Supervisors there took issue with the way California calculates the rate. 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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