The June 7 primary election is fast approaching. 

San Diego voters will soon start the process to choose a new county sheriff and Chula Vista mayor. They’ll also decide whether to stick with incumbent local officials, state legislators and Congressional representatives. 

But final decisions largely won’t be made in the June primary. Instead, the top two vote-getters in most races will move onto the November election.  

Voters will also notice some high-profile races missing from their June ballots. Races with only two candidates – such as the District 5 county supervisors’ race – will only appear on the November ballot. 

Here’s a breakdown of top races to help you fill out your ballot. To read about a specific race, scroll down or select an option below.

County Races 

San Diego County Administration Building / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

County Sheriff

Seven candidates are vying to fill the role of sheriff after Bill Gore retired in February.   

Gore promoted Kelly Martinez, a veteran of the department, to undersheriff in 2021. Shortly after Gore announced he wouldn’t be seeking another term, San Diego’s most high-profile Democratic politicians united around her.   

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has endorsed Dave Myers, a retired sheriff’s commander who tried to oust Gore in 2018. He has the backing of the party’s progressive activists.   

John Hemmerling, a former Marine and San Diego police officer, is now the chief criminal prosecutor for the San Diego city attorney’s office. He told us last year he was registered as a no-party preference voter and ended up receiving the Republican Party endorsement a couple months ago.  

All three candidates, in fact, have been Republicans at some point in their life. Martinez re-registered as a Democrat in 2020. Myers has said he became a Democrat after GOP leaders came out in support of a statewide ban on same-sex marriage more than a decade ago.  

Four other candidates — Charles Battle, John Gunderson, Juan Carlos Mercado and Jonathan Peck — are also on the ballot, but none provided the registrar with candidate statements.

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Board of Supervisors

District 4 

The county’s COVID response is taking center stage in incumbent Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher’s re-election battle against ReOpen San Diego co-founder Amy Reichert. The two are vying to represent District 4, which includes a large swath of the city of San Diego plus La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley. 

A lower-profile third candidate, diversity inclusion coordinator Sidiqa Hooker, is also running so the race won’t be decided in June. Hooker did not submit a candidate statement to the county registrar of voters. 

Reichert, a Republican endorsed by the local party, says Fletcher’s backing of policies such as mask mandates inspired her to run against him. If elected, Reichert said she’d focus on making herself accessible to constituents, push for audits of government spending including “government hidden tax and profit-making” on affordable housing projects and advocate for investments in proven community-based programs to serve homeless residents rather than new government programs. 

Fletcher, an endorsed Democrat, said he is proud of his leadership during COVID and also touts the county’s increased focus on tackling homelessness, the region’s affordable housing shortage and behavioral health challenges on his watch as reasons voters should stick with him. Fletcher has also trumpeted stepped up county efforts to combat climate change and support workers. 

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Two High-Profile County Races You Won’t See on Your June Ballot

The Oceanside Pier
The Oceanside Pier / Photo by Megan Wood with aerial support provided by LightHawk

District 5 

Democratic challenger Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson wants to unseat Republican Supervisor Jim Desmond, who hopes to hold onto his post representing a district that includes Oceanside, Escondido and Borrego Springs. 

Desmond, a retired pilot and former San Marcos mayor, has made addressing the region’s public safety, homelessness and behavioral health needs top priorities since he was elected four years ago. Desmond made headlines in 2020 for pushing back against county restrictions and raising questions about COVID deaths yet he is also a vaccine supporter who has argued that the county should bolster access in the rural reaches of the county. 

Boyd-Hodgson is a Vallecitos Water District board member who owns a science consulting business. If elected, Boyd-Hodgson said protecting waterways in an unincorporated areas and discoursing development in wildfire-prone areas would be priorities for her. She has also pledged to focus on pushing for bold policies to attack the region’s housing affordability and homelessness crises. 

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County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk 

Two local government veterans are competing to lead the county office that records legal documents, appraises real estate for property taxes and issues marriage licenses. 

They are former Democratic San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry and Jordan Marks, a Republican who now serves as the office’s assessor taxpayer advocate. 

Marks, an attorney and certified property tax appraiser, argues he’s the candidate with the on-the-job experience and training to serve county taxpayers and run the office. 

Bry, a tech entrepreneur, has pledged to ensure the region is properly collecting taxes and to create an advisory committee to explore technological improvements that could make county records more accessible if she’s elected. 

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San Diego City Council

San Diego City Hall / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

District 2 

Councilwoman Jen Campbell four years ago defeated former Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, a Republican, when an incumbent had not lost a re-election battle in nearly twenty years. In a strong Democratic year, though, she won in a landslide. Campbell, a doctor, became council president two years later, after she led the city to pass elusive regulations for short-term vacation rentals and to waive the coastal height limit for the Midway area (before a judge later invalidated that decision). She survived a recall attempt, but last year lost her council presidency, and is now running for re-election without the Democratic Party’s endorsement. 

She’s running against three Democrats. Joel Day is a college professor who worked for former Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s administration, leading the effort to turn the Convention Center into a shelter during the onset of the pandemic. Lori Saldana, who represented the district as an assemblywoman, is running after after unsuccessful bids for county supervisor, mayor and Congress. Mandy Havlik is on the Peninsula Community Planning Board and is an active preservationist. 

Linda Lukacs, a dentist and Ocean Beach, is the GOP’s lone endorsed candidate in a City Council race. 

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District 4 

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe defeated an incumbent, fellow Democrat Myrtle Cole, who she had previously worked for, four years ago despite not having the support of the local Democratic Party or most organized labor groups. She’s since taken the lead of the city’s attempts to implement a voter approved ballot measure reforming and strengthening the body that investigates allegations of police misconduct. She’s running unopposed.  

Montgomery Steppe is running against Gloria Evangelista, a dietician who has advocated for increasing healthy grocery stores and food options in District 4, and Tylisa Suseberry, a political staffer who has worked for officials in both Sacramento and City Hall. 

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District 6 

Councilman Chris Cate, the lone Republican on the City Council, is termed out, and the local GOP has not endorsed a  Republican running to replace him. Kent Lee, the executive director of the Pacific Arts Movement, a nonprofit media organization focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander cinema, is endorsed by the local Democratic Party. Four years ago, Tommy Hough, a county planning commissioner, environmental preservationist and former radio DJ, had the party’s endorsement when he challenged Cate. He’s running again, but without the endorsement this go-round. Jane Glasson, a special education assistant, is also on the ballot. She does not have the Republican Party’s endorsement, but on social media has shared GOP messaging critical of Democrats across the state. 

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District 8 

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno faces Antonio Martinez in a rematch of a tight, hotly contested 2018 race. Moreno worked for former Councilman David Alvarez in District 8 before winning the 2018 race without the endorsement of the Democratic Party or most labor groups, which supported Martinez. In office she has focused on land use issues pushing for increased housing production citywide and for a larger share of infrastructure funding for District 8. Martinez, now a congressional staffer for Rep. Juan Vargas. The Democratic Party has endorsed Moreno this time around. 

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San Diego Unified

San Diego Unified Office SDUSD
The San Diego Unified School District headquarters / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

School Board

Two out of five seats for San Diego Unified Board of Education are up for grabs. The board is currently controlled by five teacher’s union backed candidates. This is the first year that both the primary and general elections for San Diego Unified will be district-only. Previously, general elections were held on a citywide basis, which critics said tended to favor the local teacher’s union and its ability to spend big.  

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District B 

District B encompasses northeastern San Diego. Two Democrats and one Republican are vying for the seat.  

Jose Velazquez is the Republican candidate and has been endorsed by the local Republican Party and Lincoln Club. Velazquez has criticized San Diego Unified’s ethnic studies program and been involved in a lawsuit against the statewide push for an ethnic studies requirement, the Union-Tribune reported.  

Godwin Higa is a retired principal and teacher who worked in San Diego Unified for many years. Higa was voted principal of the year and teacher of the year at various points during his career, according to his website. Higa says his long experience in the classroom is what makes him right for the job – however me missed out on most major Democratic endorsements. Higa’s major focus is promoting restorative justice as a way to make academic gains.  

Shana Hazan received a coveted endorsement from the local teacher’s union – which means she will have deep pockets backing her run for school board – as well as several prominent local Democrats. Hazan worked as a public school teacher and also as a non-profit executive. Hazan believes district officials poorly communicate with parents and members of the public. She wants to promote better more transparent communication, the U-T reported.  

A fourth candidate, Michael J. Rebelo, is also running for the seat but did not submit a candidate statement to the county registrar of voters. 

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District C 

District C runs the entire length of San Diego’s coast. Its race also features two Democrats and one Republican.  

Becca Williams is the lone Republican. She’s been endorsed by several prominent local Republicans as well as the local Republican Party. Williams believes free market principles can help improve public schools, according to her website. Her website also notes that she “stands for the preservation of childhood,” but does not explain the phrase. Williams co-founded a network of three charter schools in Texas.  

Lily Higman did not win the teacher’s union endorsement, but she did receive an endorsement from the Downtown Democratic Club and a couple of parents who have served in important district committee roles. Higman rose through the ranks of the telecom industry to become and executive. Her catchline is “Kids Come First!” and she wants to improve district communication and transparency.  

Cody Petterson is endorsed by the local teacher’s union and has the backing of several current and former board members. Petterson is from La Jolla and a policy adviser for county Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer. Peterson told the U-T that San Diego Unified did a “remarkable job” of adapting to the challenge of online learning. One of his biggest priorities is increasing school funding.  

George Prahl and Tibor J. Deak are also running for the seat but did not submit candidate statements to the county registrar of voters. 

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Chula Vista 

Cars drive down Third Avenue in Chula Vista. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Chula Vista Mayor 

Residents of the region’s second-largest city have their pick of candidates come June to replace now termed out Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. Most of the six candidates are focused on increasing the city’s economic opportunities but it’s the skills, and experience they bring to the table that could set them apart.  

Those in the race are once congressional hopeful Ammar Campa-Najjar; Army veteran Spencer Cash; Zaneta Encarnacion, chief of staff to Southwestern College’s president; Councilwoman Jill Galvez; Councilman John McCann; and former city councilman Rudy Ramirez. A poll last year put Campa-Najjar and McCann as the lead candidates – though newcomer Encarnacion has pulled some heavy support from dozens of elected officials, including Casillas Salas, and the Democratic Party. Campa-Najjar has support from the city’s firefighter union and McCann secured the police union endorsement.  

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Chula Vista City Council   

The upcoming election will include the city of Chula Vista’s new district boundaries – which somewhat changed the lines for the two open seats in districts 1 and 2. 

With McCann termed out, and running for mayor, the seat to represent communities in the northeast part of the city and Eastlake, District 1, is wide open. Those in the race include Democrat Carolina Chavez, who currently works as the director of business and economic policy for San Diego Councilman Stephen Whitburn; business owner Robert Michael Cromer; Republican and business owner Marco Contreras; Mark Liuag, who comes from the aerospace industry;  and Francisco “Frank” Rivera, a civil and traffic engineer for the city.  

Galvez’s decision to run for mayor has left her District 2 seat up for grabs. There are five candidates in that race including republicans Steve Stenberg, a retired firefighter and Francia Castro, a mother of three; and democrats Jose Preciado, an educator at San Diego State University who also serves on the governing board of the Sweetwater Authority, and Patti Groulx, who has a background working in government with the county. Another candidate is retired teacher John Borja.  

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Chula Vista City Attorney  

 City Attorney Glen Googins’ departure has opened his stop to three candidates. Simon Silva, a deputy city attorney who joined the office in 2009, is leaning hard on his experience and pushing for advancing transparency in the city. Former deputy mayor and councilmember John Moot has also thrown his name in the ring. Moot secured the police association’s endorsement and state elected officials. Federal public defender and business owner Dan Smith is also in the running.   

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State Senate

California flag
The United State flag alongside the California state flag / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

18th State Senate District 

Veterans advocate Alejandro Galicia, a Republican, and Democratic Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla are competing to represent the state Senate district that covers southern San Diego County and also includes parts of Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. 

Galicia, who co-owns a Chula Vista plumbing business, advocates dialing back government mandates and restrictions to increase homebuilding and argues the state should pursue incentives over increasing regulations meant to combat climate change. He also opposes requiring labor-friendly agreements for private and public projects. 

Padilla, who serves on the state Coastal Commission, wants to expand rental assistance, affordable housing incentives and first-time homebuyer programs to help address the state’s booming housing costs. He also wants to focus on addressing the state’s teacher shortage and expanding so-called community choice energy programs, publicly-run power agencies that aim to provide cheaper and cleaner energy. 

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38th State Senate District 

Four candidates are on the June ballot for the state Senate District 38 seat, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr, both Democrats, and small business owner Matt Gunderson, a Republican. The two candidates that receive the most votes will face off in the Nov. 8 general election. Dairy clerk Jerry Ciolino is also running but did not submit a candidate statement to the county registrar of voters. 

The newly redrawn district runs from southern Orange County through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Vista south to Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. It’s currently represented by Republican state Sen. Pat Bates, who will term out of the state legislature at the end of the year.  

Blakespear may have an advantage in being the only candidate from the San Diego County side of the district, which accounts for nearly 71 percent of the district’s voters — and a higher share of registered Democrats. She also has the endorsement from the California Democratic Party. 

All three candidates placed California’s lack of affordable housing as one of their top concerns, but they all have very different approaches to the issue, the Union-Tribune reported.  

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40th State Senate District 

Navy veteran and Democrat Joseph C. Rocha aims to unseat incumbent Republican state Senator Brian Jones in the redrawn 40th District which includes inland North County cities such as Escondido and East County communities such as Pine Valley. 

 Rocha, who had been set to seek Rep. Darrell Issa’s 48th Congressional District seat, announced he’d bow out of that race earlier this year following redistricting changes that made it a safer Republican seat. If he bests Jones, Rocha said he’d focus on childcare affordability, expand aid for first-time homebuyers and combating climate change, among other goals.  

Jones, a former Santee councilman and state Assemblyman, said he’d push to lower taxes and fees, back existing programs to address homelessness rather than “state-run homeless housing bureaucracies” and rally to reform controversial 2017 Prop. 47, which reduced many drug charges to misdemeanors. 

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State Assembly  

A polling sign in North Park. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

75th Assembly District 

Two incumbent Republicans, Assemblymembers Randy Voepel and Marie Waldron are facing off for the same seat in the newly redrawn 75th Assembly District

Waldron, the former GOP Assembly leader, and Voepel, a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran, have both been vocal about their desire to expose Sacramento, the “slime pit,” as Voepel called it during a recent candidate forum

Waldron has been especially critical of the redistricting process that has forced the two Republicans to vie for the same seat. Nonetheless, the June primaries will come down to one member of the GOP. 

Republican Samuel Plantowsky is also running but did not submit a candidate statement to the county registrar of voters. 

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76th Assembly District 

Incumbent Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, a Republican turned Democrat, is vying for the 76th Assembly District seat against two Republican candidates, attorney and small business owner June Cutter and Olivenhain Municipal Water District official Kristie Bruce-Lane. 

The newly redrawn district now encompasses many inland communities including San Marcos in the north, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo and running south toward Poway. These communities lean Republican or are fairly split, however Democrats may have an advantage in Maienschein, who has held his seat since 2012. 

Cutter unsuccessfully ran against Maienschein in 2020. 

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77th Assembly District  

Democratic Incumbent Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath is facing off against Republican business owner and financial advisor Dan Downey for the 77th Assembly District.  

Horvath appeared to be running unopposed for several months until Downey’s sudden entrance into the race in March. Downey, who is new to the political race game, told The Coast News that his number one priority is tackling the state’s high cost of living. 

Horvath has centered her campaign around climate change as her top priority. 

The newly formed district is heavily coastal, encompassing communities such as Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Point Loma, all traditionally left-leaning areas, which will likely be an advantage for Horvath. 

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78th Assembly District 

Democratic Assemblyman Chris Ward is hoping to hold onto his seat representing a redrawn district that now covers a stretch from Hillcrest to Mira Mesa and a portion of El Cajon, amid a challenge from Republican Navy veteran Eric Gonzales. 

Ward recently made headlines for introducing the California Housing Speculation Act, which would tack a 25 percent tax onto profits for buyers who resell homes within three years. Ward, a former San Diego City Councilman, has said he’d continue to focus on measures to address homelessness, housing affordability and income inequality if he’s re-elected. 

Gonzales wrote on his website that he’d oppose any tax measures, advocate to ban abortion in the state, fight to repeal measures that infringe on Californians’ second amendment rights and push for reforms to state education curriculum. 

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79th Assembly District  

Democratic Assemblywoman Akilah Weber is facing challenges from two Republicans just over a year after winning her mother (and now California Secretary of State) Shirley Weber’s longtime 79th District seat. 

Retired businessman John Moore and Navy veteran Corbin Sabol both want to unseat Weber, an obstetrician who previously served on the La Mesa City Council. 

Since taking office last year, Weber has introduced bills aimed at improving care in state jails in the wake of a damning state audit of San Diego jail deaths and to update the state’s immunization registry, giving schools access to it. She has said education, public health, justice and civil rights issues are among her top priorities. 

Sabol and Moore did not submit candidate statements to the county registrar of voters.  

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80th Assembly District

Many voters will cast two votes for this office in June – one to fill the remainder of the term vacated by former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s resignation, and another for the primary election for the two-year term that will be decided in November. 

The short-term seat pits former Councilman David Alvarez, who has done public affairs consulting work since leaving office, against former Councilwoman Georgette Gomez, who has done the same. Alvarez and Gomez had been long-time political allies, especially over a new community plan for Barrio Logan that city voters rejected in 2014. Alvarez led the charge on the Council pass a plan that would disentangle homes and polluting businesses in the community, while Gomez was an advocate for the plan from the outside before she was elected in District 9 in 2016. 

The primary race for the two-year term also includes Republican Lincoln Pickard, a retired contractor, and John Vogel Garcia, also a Republican, who is a technology manager.   

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A person votes at the San Diego Convention Center polling location in 2020. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

48th Congressional District 

 Four candidates are vying to represent the redrawn District 48 Congressional District, which includes part of Escondido, Poway, Santee and most of eastern San Diego County. 

 Republican Darrell Issa, the former CEO of an electronics company, is running for re-election in a new district that covers more of east county than he currently represents. Issa blamed the Biden Administration for most of the issues posed to him in a San Diego Union-Tribune candidate questionnaire includes border security, illegal immigration and shuttering the economy and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 Two Democrats have stepped up to the plate to oppose him in a swath of San Diego that’s long been represented by conservative candidates: Stephen Houlahan, a registered nurse and former Santee city councilman, and Matthew G. Rascon, a community volunteer.  

 Houlahan noted his experience caring for ICU patients during COVID-19 and said he would prioritize expanding Medicare and propose a similar program for uninsured children. Rascon said he is most concerned with imposing term limits in the legislature and requiring elected officials to divest from their financial interests once elected. 

 One candidate, Lucinda Jahn, an entertainment industry technician, has registered as a candidate without a party. Jahn said she also favors term limits, as well as simplifying the federal tax code and repealing the Affordable Care Act for a new blend of private and public healthcare. 

The two candidates that get the most votes in the June 7 primary election will face-off in the November general election.  

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49th Congressional District 

Democrat Mike Levin has his work cut out for him to defend his spot in Congress representing much of northern San Diego in the 49th District. Six candidates, five of them Republicans, hope to unseat Levin after his first term. Levin, previously an attorney in environmental and energy regulation, has been pushing for relocation of spent nuclear fuel from San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  

The Republican candidates include Lisa Bartlett, the first Japanese American elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2014. The redrawing of District 49 dropped La Jolla and stretched further north, capturing parts of Orange County.

Levin’s former opponent Republican Brian Maryott, a nonprofit business executive from San Juan Capistrano, is running against the Congressman again. Last election, Maryott captured almost 47 percent of the vote. Maryott said border security and stopping individuals from crossing the border illegally was his number one priority. 

Other Republican candidates include sheriff’s deputy Josiah O’Neil from Murrieta, Oceanside city councilman Christopher Rodriguez and Renee Taylor, a cybersecurity specialist from Rancho Mission Viejo. Democrat Nadia Bahia Smalley of Oceanside who works in healthcare is also running. 

O’Neil, the son of missionaries in South America, said he wants to protect public safety budgets which are “under attack by woke liberals” intent on defunding police. Rodriguez is most concerned with conservative spending by the federal reserve and high taxes. And Taylor said she’s focused on supportive programs for military veterans and better healthcare and insurance programs for the aging population. 

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50th Congressional District 

Democrat Scott Peters who’s served in Congress since 2013 faces five opponents to represent District 50. Redistricting shifted the area Peters is now vying for, an area that stretches to the U.S.-Mexico Border to the south and skirting around Poway to the north. 

When asked about his priorities by the San Diego Union Tribune, Peters touted investments in a new training campus for Navy SEALS and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar during his time in office and his hand in co-authoring legislation to stimulate green technologies to combat climate change. 

He faces two Republicans, David Chiddick, a coffee shop owner from Escondido and Corey Gustafson, part owner of Dogleg Brewing Company, and independent Adam Schindler, a biological researcher and scientific writer in the pharmaceutical industry. Democrat Kylie Taitano, a software engineer and nonprofit co-founder, is also seeking the seat. 

Chiddick said his priorities, if elected, would be to remove President Joe Biden , Vice President Kamala Harris and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Gustafson said he wants to stop rising inflation, create jobs and reduce crime. 

Taitano’s top priorities include passing the Green New Deal to step up the national response to climate change, voting rights and expanding access to government-funded healthcare. 

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51st Congressional District  

The Congressional seat representing the urban core of San Diego is up for grabs, currently held by Democrat Sara Jacobs, granddaughter of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. Jacobs championed her work to create an expanded tax credit supporting childhood poverty and said she would continue advocating to make that credit permanent if reelected.  

Jacobs faces four challengers in the 51st District. Republican Stan Capland, a small business owner and Jose Cortes, a member of the socialist Peace and Freedom Party. Capland said his top priority would be to hammer down the federal deficit and lower taxes for everyday citizens. Cortez said he’s calling for free education, healthcare, child care and jobs that pay living wages as well as defunding the police.  

Democratic businesswoman Barrett Holman Leak and Republican Robert B. Divine II are also running but did not submit candidate statements to the county registrar of voters. 

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52nd Congressional District 

Democrat Juan Vargas of Golden Hill who has represented San Diego’s southernmost district along the U.S-Mexico border since 2013 is also up for reelection. Vargas, a son of Mexican immigrants, recently said he’s pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and has pushed for federal aid for COVID-19 relief. 

He faces Democrat Joaquín Vázquez, a community organizer from Chula Vista and Republican Tyler Geffeney, a minister and business owner from Fallbrook. 

Vázquez, a first-generation Mexican American, said he supports Medicare for All and broadstroke climate policies like the Green New Deal as well as banning private prisons. Geffeney said he is pushing for parents to have the right to choose which schools their children attend and wants to end the practice of abortion. 

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A southeastern San Diego resident uses Voice of San Diego’s election guide to help her vote on Election Day. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla is asking voters to keep him on the job just over a year after Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed the former secretary of state to take Vice President Kamala Harris’s Senate seat. 

Interestingly, Padilla is hoping voters select him to stay on for the remainder of Harris’s term through early January 2023 – and then through January 2029. 

Here’s how Cal Matters described the field of candidates hoping to beat Padilla: 

Included among the other 20 candidates hoping to unseat him are Republican Mark Meuser, who ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State in 2018; Christopher Theodore, the Democratic founder of a southern California quarterly magazine that has been accused of plagiarism; and Republican Cordie Williams, a Carlsbad chiropractor who attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, that culminated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol.    

Other candidates vying for the seat include Democratic mathematician Akinyemi Agbede, education consultant Daphne Bradford, business owner and Republican James Bradley, Green Party teacher James “Henk” Conn, small business owner and Republican Jon Elist, Green Party marijuana plastic entrepreneur Pamela Elizondo, industrial worker Eleanor Garcia, Republican chiropractor Don J. Grundmann, podiatrist and Republican Myron L. Hall, Deon D. Jenkins, entrepreneur and Republican Sarah Sun Liew, Republican business consultant Robert George Lucero Jr., Democrat Dan O’Dowd, social justice advocate John Parker Thompson, businessman and Republican Enrique Petris, missing children advocate and Democrat Douglas Howard Pierce, Democratic attorney Obaidul Huq Pirjada, retired law enforcement officer and Republican Chuck Smith, business owner and Republican Carlos Guillermo Tapia and Dr. Timothy J. Ursich, a Democrat. 

CalMatters reports that Padilla has raised $9.5 million, far more than any other candidate in the race, and “has the backing of the entire Democratic establishment.” 

The Los Angeles Times and CapRadio caught up with Padilla and reviewed his first year in office. 

CalMatters has a super handy voter guide for state races, read that here.

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San Diego Superior Court

Three Superior Court judges could be selected in June if a single candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. 

Superior Court Commissioner Pennie K. McLaughlin is the sole candidate seeking the Office No. 32 judicial seat. 

County Deputy Public Defender Michael Flemming, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Kanter and Deputy Attorney General Mike Murphy are seeking the Office No. 35 seat

County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lawson, attorney and former prosecutor Pete Murray and Court Commissioner Peter Singer are vying for the Office No. 36 seat

San Diego County Judicial Evaluations

For more than four decades, the San Diego County Bar Association has evaluated all of the judicial candidates on a ballot on the basis of their qualifications.

They do not endorse candidates, nor compare them to one another. Rather, the group determines the qualifications of each judicial candidate after an investigative and evaluation process including confidential interviews with the candidates, people who know them and members of the region’s legal community.

The bar ranks candidates as: Exceptionally Qualified, Well Qualified, Qualified, Lacking Qualifications, or Unable to Evaluate.

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Lisa Halverstadt, Jesse Marx, Andrew Keatts, Will Huntsberry, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Tigist Layne and MacKenzie Elmer contributed reporting.

Correction: Congressman Juan Vargas lives in Golden Hill. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated where he lives.

Join the Conversation


  1. Since they didn’t print my response (I guess NPP candidates don’t count much to most journalists), my top priority in the 50th District is to fix a government that isn’t working for the American people and get real leadership in Washington.

    1. You are not the lone ranger, sir! I agree except consider that in America everyone is better than you! I respectfully decline to participate in a so-called honest forum held by a private entity which ranks candidates not on ability but by money. Sent to the UTSD on behalf of Dan Smiechowski the son of a Polish peasant never having measured up to all the important Americans. SDCC D2 candidate

  2. “Boyd-Hodgson is a Vallecitos Water District board member who owns a science consulting business. If elected, Boyd-Hodgson said protecting waterways in an unincorporated areas and discoursing development in wildfire-prone areas would be priorities for her.” I believe you meant “discouraging”, not “discoursing”. Wake up your editor.

  3. I wasn’t even mentioned as a D2 SDCC candidate from Point Loma but at least my uncle is mentioned at Liberty Station for his Purple Heart in saving America. Dan Smiechowski D2 SDCC

  4. SDCC D2 you have one candidate who withholds his platform for fear of losing, then you have a liar not answering to an honest question, then you have an incumbent who buys votes via a quarter million dollars then you have a lady with an outside PAC who manipulates without her own money. I want no part of this circus! Dan Smiechowski D2 SDCC Candidate

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