Supervisor Candidate Amy Reichert during an interview at Bully's East Prime Bistro Sports Bar in Mission Valley on Aug. 15, 2023.
Supervisor Candidate Amy Reichert during an interview at Bully's East Prime Bistro Sports Bar in Mission Valley on Aug. 15, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Republican Amy Reichert and Democrat Monica Montgomery Steppe will square off in the November runoff to replace former county supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

The latest count: We got updated numbers Thursday afternoon. There are 6,000 ballots left to count. Montgomery Steppe has 41 percent of the vote, Reichert is at about 29 percent and Goldbeck has about 25 percent. 

Reichert claimed victory after she widened her lead over Goldbeck, a Democrat.

“I’m here to be your voice, your advocate. I’m here to make a real impact in our County and stand up for every resident,” she wrote in a statement.

Goldbeck concedes: “Friends — there are still thousands of ballots left to count, but unfortunately, it appears that our campaign does not have a path to victory,” she wrote. 

Why it’s now Montgomery Steppe’s race to lose: As our pal Andrew Keatts at Axios noted, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district that includes central San Diego, La Mesa and Spring Valley nearly three to one – and Montgomery Steppe and Goldbeck collectively pulled in two thirds of the primary vote.

Bill to Kill Water Divorce Hits Hurdle in Senate

A bill that could thwart two small farming communities from seeking cheaper water outside San Diego County stalled just as it approached debate on the state Senate floor.

AB 399 would require a countywide vote if water districts want to leave the San Diego County Water Authority. That would make it much harder and costlier for any water district to leave. 

Under current law, water districts must get the Local Agency Formation Commission to greenlight the move, which happened in July, plus a vote of the water district’s customers which is set for November

The bill would create a state-mandated local election. But it’s expensive to hold elections, especially countywide. And the California Constitution requires the state reimburse local agencies for those costs. 

So that means the state Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, which analyzes any bills that create significant state costs, has to take a look at AB 399 first. The revelation could be a significant slow-down on the bill becoming law. 

And there’s a lot of effort behind getting it passed as quickly as possible. The bill came from Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner, a Democrat from Encinitas, with strong support from the city of San Diego and powerful labor unions. It has an urgency clause attached which means the law goes into effect immediately upon enactment but requires a two-thirds vote, or, in other words, wider support from lawmakers to become law. 

The Day in Camping Ban News

An encampment on 12th Avenue in downtown on July 31, 2023.

How it’s playing San Diego: The Guardian hit the streets as San Diego police began enforcing the city’s new camping ban and documented homeless residents’ struggles to access shelter and Mayor Todd Gloria’s rationale for increased crackdowns on homeless camps. 

  • As they made the case for the camping ban, some San Diego leaders argued homeless camps were fueling a spike in dangerous vegetation fires but inewsource found that fire officials actually didn’t know how many fires were started in homeless camps.

Another ban on the books: Poway’s homeless camping ban took effect Thursday. NBC 7 has more details. Voice of San Diego’s Kathryn Gray earlier this summer spotlighted how Poway’s lack of shelter space will likely stymie enforcement of the new ordinance.

Meanwhile: Homeless advocates are concerned about how unsheltered residents could be impacted by this weekend’s forecasted tropical storm. Here’s what the city told us it’s doing to prepare. 

UCSD Goes Out on a Limb With Mushroom Research

In a UC San Diego lab decked out with a salt lamp, essential oils and crystals, research participants are taking the psychedelic ingredient of mushrooms – for science.

Our Jakob McWhinney recently visited with researchers at the newly minted Center for Psychedelic Research who are studying whether psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has any effect on phantom limb pain that can affect people who have lost limbs.

As McWhinney notes, the team is serious about the science but also embracing the spiritual and “almost vibe-based elements of the psychedelic experience.”

Read the full story here. 

We Are Going Live! in North Park 

Your favorite podcast crew is going to record live on Wednesday, Sept. 6. 

We’ll be at North Park’s Original 40 Brewing for our Brews & News Live Podcast. The VOSD Podcast hosts will dish on local politics, chisme and more. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. 

Click here to purchase your ticket.

In Other News 

  • The Union-Tribune reports that a Superior Court judge has lifted a temporary restraining order that one Lemon Grove city councilwoman filed against a council colleague.  
  • CBS 8 reveals that patients are being treated in emergency room hallways at UC San Diego Health’s La Jolla hospital due to overcrowding issues at the facility.
  • KPBS reports on a Lemon Grove mural that depicts a 1931 case involving the area school board’s attempt to send Mexican American students to separate classes in a former barn.
  • CBS 8 found that the city is setting aside spiking water bills for further investigation – sometimes allowing bills and leakage issues to grow for months – rather than immediately notify property owners with surging water use. 
  • Months after a Superior Court judge’s ruling halted construction on a large Rancho Peñasquitos housing development, The Union-Tribune reports that a settlement has allowed the project to continue but that the ruling is still expected to complicate matters for other projects.

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, MacKenzie Elmer and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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