Chula Vista Mayor candidate John McCann speaks to a news station at the Republican election party held at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego on Nov. 8, 2022. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran
Chula Vista Mayor John McCann / File photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

Republicans in San Diego were down and out entering the latest election cycle. Democrats in 2020 had taken control of both the San Diego mayor’s office and the County Board of Supervisors, riding yearslong trends.

But in 2022, local political watchers learned a new lesson: even in a Democratic San Diego, Republicans can still win races here.

At the heart of that realization is the simple fact that however polarized we are as a county or a nation, plenty of people are happy to split their tickets.

Voters in Chula Vista, for instance, behaved as the registration numbers said they would, selecting Democrats to represent them in legislative offices at the state Assembly and state Senate and in Congress. Yet they chose a Republican to be their new mayor, in spite of a 2-to-1 Democratic edge in voter registration there.

Along with that win, Republicans are now mayors in six of the county’s eight largest cities.

To be clear, this is a consolation prize for a party that not long ago held the most sought-after offices in the region. It is nonetheless a reminder that politics is not a winner-take-all contest, and Republicans can still make viable candidates, even in a county that’s now decidedly blue. 

Read the full story here. 

What We Learned About Covid in Year Two of the Pandemic

A Covid-19 vaccine sign can be seen in front of Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy on Dec. 10, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Covid-related deaths fell during the second year of the pandemic, but shifted dramatically across the region.

Younger people were wiped out as time went on. The racial gap narrowed in places like South Bay, while the hardest hit communities were among smaller, Whiter communities on the eastern edge of the metro.

Vaccines help explain why but were not the only reason.

Looking back on our Covid coverage in 2022, Jesse Marx writes that anyone seeking to understand what happened needs to take a range of factors into consideration.

A comparison of Covid-related deaths and vaccination rates found only a moderate correlation. ZIP codes with the highest vaccination rates experienced the greatest decreases in Covid-related deaths and vice versa. But data in the middle was much messier, suggesting that there were other forces at play — social, cultural, political.

We still have more Covid-related stories to report after the New Year.

In the meantime, catch up on our coverage thus far and read the recap. 

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Our Favorite Photos of 2022 

Horse Groomers working in the morning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on July 29, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Yesterday we shared a roundup of our favorite stories, but we couldn’t tell such compelling stories without the dedicated work of our staff photojournalists and freelancers.

There was no shortage of news stories this year, and our Voice photojournalists were there to bring those stories to life. They spent time with families dealing with loss, heartache and pain. But they also captured moments of joy.

Look at some of our favorite photos of 2022. 

In Other News 

  • San Diego is among the cities nationwide in which Southwest Airlines has wreaked havoc on travelers, as the airline has canceled or delayed hundreds of flights, stranding flyers and leaving luggage piled up throughout the terminal, as CBS 8 covered. It’s not currently possible to book a flight out of San Diego until Dec. 31. The federal Department of Transportation has pledged to look into the airline over the cancellations, the Associated Press reported. But as NPR explained, blizzards in the midwest are only part of what went wrong. And as KPBS reported, thousands are stranded in Tijuana’s airport over the ordeal as well.
  • Gary Warth profiled eight newly homeless San Diegans in a new feature for the Union-Tribune, and concludes with a familiar acknowledgment from service providers: they expect the crisis to get worse, not better, on its current trajectory.
  • Warth also covered a new homeless service provider, Townspeople, which is focused on putting homeless people in spare rooms in existing units to get them off the streets, rather than creating new homes. It manages 100 homes.
  • Marlea Dell’Anno, a former San Diego city attorney who a jury earlier this year ruled the city wrongfully fired, ended up winning nearly $6 million in her case when the city finally cut a check earlier this month, the Union-Tribune reported.
  • Winter rains are on the way. NBC 7 outlined the timeline they’re expected to arrive this week.

The Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts, Jesse Marx and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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