San Diego Councilwoman Jen Campbell at an election party held at the Westin Hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Photo by Brittney Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego
San Diego Councilwoman Jen Campbell at an election party held at the Westin Hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

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The registrar of voters did not release new vote counts after early morning Wednesday and there are only a few significant updates from yesterday’s Morning Report. Here are some:

  • The margin in the race for San Diego Unified Board of Education along the coast between Democrat Cody Petterson and Republican Becca Williams tightened significantly. Petterson has a 6 percentage-point lead over Williams.
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Levin had a 2 percent-advantage over his Republican opponent, Brian Maryott, in the 49th Congressional District race. The lead increased slightly (0.1 percentage point!) Wednesday. Sensing trouble, Democrats dispatched President Joe Biden to stump for Levin last week. 
  • Democratic incumbent Brian Maienschein was leading Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane in the 76th Assembly District Tuesday night, but the results flipped on Wednesday.
  • The vote count as of Wednesday had Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear with a razor-thin 0.6 percentage-point lead over businessman Matt Gunderson in the 39th State Senate District. A little less than 1,200 votes separate them out of nearly 220,000 cast. Both Levin and Blakespear performed significantly worse among voters in the Orange County portion of their districts.

The Audacity of Jen Campbell

San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell woke up Wednesday morning to find that she was a comfortable 10 percentage points ahead of her Republican challenger Linda Lukacs in the latest vote tally. 

Campbell’s victory is telling, though, of her re-election campaign, which focused on getting her to face a Republican in the general election whom she could defeat and secure another four years on the council. 

In a new piece, Scott Lewis argues the case for Campbell’s re-election was the same as the one against her: She’s not responsive to her constituents and that made her uniquely able to tackle big problems and swing at sacred cows but it also left her vulnerable. 

Read more about the audacious re-election campaign for Campbell. 

Lee Claims Victory in District 6 

San Diego City Council District 6 Candidate Kent Lee walks with supporters in downtown on election night. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

Kent Lee is poised to become the next Councilman in San Diego District 6. As of Wednesday, the results showed him in the lead by 14 percent, prompting him to declare victory on Twitter. 

His opponent, Tommy Hough, isn’t willing to concede just yet. But he did put the blame for the results on attack ads in recent weeks rather than ideas and urged city leaders not interpret the outcome as a mandate for the YIMBY agenda. Hough ran on a campaign slogan of “neighborhoods first.”

Both candidates are Democrats vying to replace the Council’s only, ongoing Republican. Both spoke of the need for more affordable housing, but Lee had the backing of his party and most of the city establishment.

Read more about the race and the results. 

SDUSD Poised to Go Five for Five on Bond Measures Since 1998

San Diego Unified offices in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Measure U, San Diego Unified’s $3.2 billion bond measure looks safe, likely extending the bond proposal district’s win-streak. The district pitched the measure as being necessary to help it repair old schools and increase campus safety. If passed, it could also allow SDUSD to become the first district in the county to build housing for its employees

Unlike past bond measures, not much of an opposition mobilized against it. Organizations that have previously opposed district bond measures, like the San Diego County Taxpayers Association endorsed it. Though Haney Hong, the organization’s president expressed hesitance about the employee housing proposal, even while calling it innovative. 

Current school board member Richard Barrera said he wasn’t surprised by Measure U’s success, and that it’s just the latest example of San Diego voters’ willingness to invest in district schools.

“People in our community support our kids, support our schools and are willing to make sacrifices to support our schools even in this election when people are anxious about the economy,” Barrera said. 

Read more about the bond measure in the Learning Curve. 

Other Updates from the Most Important Election Ever™

Poll worker Jan Williams separates “I Voted” stickers at the Bay View Baptist Church in Chula Vista on Nov. 8. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

Red on red: In the 75th Assembly District, Marie Waldron beat Randy Voepel with two-thirds of the turnout thus far. Both candidates are veteran Republican lawmakers forced to run against one another after redistricting. 

Chula Vista: Democrat Simon Silva, who died in September, has a slim margin over his opponent, Republican Dan Smith, for Chula Vista city attorney. As of Wednesday, the difference between the two candidates was less than one percent, with more than 32,000 votes already counted. Current City Attorney Glen Googins told KPBS last week that he doesn’t plan to resign if Silva wins. Instead, the city is looking to hold a special election that could cost up to $2 million. 

Encinitas: Blakespear vacated her Encinitas mayoral seat and it appears to be going to Democratic Encinitas Council Member Tony Kranz. He held a wide lead over opponents Cindy Cremona, Jeff Morris and Michael Blobe on Wednesday, with 48 percent of the votes.

San Diego: Measure H, which would allow San Diego to lease out city-owned land like parks and recreation centers to child care services seems ready to pass handily. Forty-two San Diego recreation centers could qualify to be leased out according to a recent survey. 

Elsewhere In the Fun House

  • The Union-Tribune asks whether a lack of Republicans on the San Diego City Council poses a problem, but some of its current members argue that it already reflects a spectrum of ideologies and is designed to challenge one another. Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said the goal is not to meet in the middle but to improve the lives of San Diegans. 
  • The Union-Tribune also reports that city attorneys are arguing that the state Court of Appeal shouldn’t throw out two lawsuits against a former city real estate adviser who was paid millions for his work on the 101 Ash St. and Civic Center Plaza leases. San Diego’s informal filings follow ex-adviser Jason Hughes’ recent request that the court overturn two recent Superior Court rulings allowing conflict-of-interest cases against him to proceed.
  • inewsource reports that San Diego County’s vote centers struggled to recruit poll workers who speak some languages voters need, despite laws attempting to reduce barriers in the voting process. 
  • A wild white pelican found dead at Safari Park earlier this month tested positive for a strain of avian flu that’s been sweeping the country. (U-T)
  • More rain brings more beach closures issued by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality due to contamination from Tijuana River sewage, this time for Imperial Beach, the Silver Strand and Coronado. (City News Service)

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Jesse Marx, Jakob McWhinney, Tigist Layne and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Scott Lewis. 

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