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

The Primary is nigh!

Though it’s not the blockbuster 2020 election that melted our faces and dominated every inch of social media, our next major democratic exercise is nearly here. (Get those ballots in by June 7 with the help of our Election Guide.)

This week on the VOSD Podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña checked in on the main races we’ve been watching in the region and the stories behind them.

County Sheriff, Chula Vista Mayor, Assembly District 80 and San Diego City Council District 2 are the four horsemen of this non-apocalypse. But rest assured, there’s plenty of intrigue to unfurl.

This year’s race for sheriff is one of the most contested in recent history. Three top candidates are vying for the job — one Republican and two Democrats (a few others are on the ballot but didn’t get candidate statements to the registrar). On the pod, Keatts and Lewis break down a recent turn for Republican candidate John Hemmerling after he abruptly retired from his prosecutor job following “anti-transgender remarks” he made in public.

Assembly District 80 is another winding tale. But first, some mechanics: Voters in this district have to vote for their representative three times this year. First, to finish the term vacated by former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. Second, to pick who advances past the primary. Third, in the November General Election.

Keatts laid out the story this week of the two candidates in the race — former friends, now bitter rivals. Georgette Gómez and David Alvarez, once close political allies, are now in a heated battle to represent the southernmost district in the Assembly and potentially map the future of Dem-vs-Dem battles in the state.

Your election pre-game starts around minute 18 in the podcast. Get to it!

Speaking of pre-game: This is your last chance to come hang with your favorite public affairs podcast hosts (and other Voice journalists). Join us to discuss the election, play some games and win prizes. Get your tickets at Members are free. Bring your friends.

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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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  1. D2 SDCC Dan Smiechowski TRUTH TELLER

    My fellow San Diegans, this is Daniel Smiechowski a candidate for San Diego City Council District 2. Please read the following:
    Pork Bellies and Political Prostitutes
    The upcoming election for San Diego City Council District 2 is like a walk through Pigalle and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Candidates are hoarding more cash than locusts in the Western Sahara. This must stop. It is immoral and unethical and beneath the dignity of our American ideal of justice and a game won fairly.
    How is it possible that despite the small size of this City Council District, campaign contributions from all four corners of the United States arrive in candidate’s coffers? Do residents of Key West, Florida and Bangor, Maine really have a dog in the fight? Do these people care about San Diego or more about their buddies? And what about all these obscene endorsements? The incumbent in District 2 has more powerful elite folks behind her campaign than Carters got liver pills. How is this possible since this person was under the cloud of recall for practically her whole tenure on the City Council? This is a disconnect nonpareil.
    But the beat goes on and on and on and on! Year after year, unwitting voters fall for the false narrative on perception of victory. Like a baby to her mother, these voters instinctively gravitate to who they see as a winner. Except to win in politics, one must compromise the truth. With the acting talent and crocodile tears of an Audrey Hepburn, these disingenuous candidates play a ruse and dupe would be voters into political prostitution. In short, both campaign loot and endorsements prove more lucrative than ideas, work ethic, honesty, truthfulness and vision. This is wrong. This must end.
    Daniel Smiechowski Candidate San Diego City Council D2
    PLEASE SHARE 858 405 5118

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