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It was a late night around Election Central in downtown San Diego but not as late as it could have been. A lot of races turned out to have much cleaner outcomes after early results than in the past.
Let’s get right to the biggest ones:
The DA: Summer Stephan is no longer the appointed district attorney. Voters resoundingly approved of her bid to win the seat outright. As of midnight, she was up 64 percent to 36 percent.
Now that the seat is hers with a voter mandate, we asked if she had any plans to make changes. There could be major changes in top personnel. She didn’t hint at any, though. “I wake up every day and I think about how we can do better. That’s basically my whole life.”
County Supervisor, District 4: Nathan Fletcher had twice lost intense mayoral primaries after he transformed his political affiliation and priorities. Both times he faced attack ads from the left and the right and they squeezed him out. This time, in the race to replace Ron Roberts on the County Board of Supervisors, it happened again but an army of labor union supporters and major spending by the Democratic Party pushed him over the edge.
Surprisingly, Fletcher was in first place early Wednesday morning as counting continued. Most observers assumed Bonnie Dumanis, the lone Republican in the race, would have that top spot and advance to the runoff. She did advance. Now, as our Lisa Halverstadt reports, they’re both preparing for a major fight.
Congressional District 49: Republican Diane Harkey easily secured the first spot in the runoff. It was unclear whether Democrats Mike Levin, Sara Jacobs or Doug Applegate will end up with the opportunity to face Harkey. Levin had a two-point advantage when we closed up for the night. Two of the most well known candidates — Republicans Kristin Gaspar and Rocky Chavez — went down badly. Our Jesse Marx explores why.
A Surprise! Assembly District 76: It appears two Democrats — Tasha Boerner Horvath and Elizabeth Warren — will advance to the runoff in the race to replace Chavez in the Assembly. It’s welcome news to Democrats in Sacramento who lost one of their colleagues, Orange County’s Josh Newman, to a recall campaign.
Congressional District 50: Ammar Campa Najjar will move to the runoff against incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter. Campa Najjar prevailed over the candidate the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee preferred, Josh Butner.
Chula Vista Sales Tax: As of 1 a.m. Chula Vista’s push to raise its sales tax permanently by a half-cent was up 54 percent to 46 percent. It doesn’t need two-thirds of voter support but another proposition, possibly on the November ballot, could invalidate it.
San Diego City Council District 2: Dr. Jen Campbell advanced to the runoff against incumbent Lorie Zapf.
A Surprise! San Diego City Council District 4: Monica Montgomery, who once worked for City Council President Myrtle Cole, nearly bested Cole in the primary. Winning the seat won’t be easy but it was a surprising wake-up call for the council president, one of the most powerful posts in the city.
San Diego City Council District 6: Chris Cate, the incumbent, had received 58 percent of the vote as of 1 a.m. In past elections, that would have been enough for him to win the seat outright. However, he is the first to feel the impact of Measure K, the 2016 ballot decision that forced all city offices to a runoff regardless of how well one candidate does in the primary.
San Diego City Council District 8: Vivian Moreno, who has been an aide for Councilman David Alvarez, came out on top in the race to replace Alvarez. She’ll likely face Antonio Martinez, who is on the board of the San Ysidro School District. But Christian Ramirez was only back 190 votes from Martinez for second place when we closed up shop for the night.
National City, Term Limits: A proxy war between rival labor groups in National City may mean the end of Mayor Ron Morrison’s tenure. Measure B would have put a two-term limit on his job but allowed him to start those two terms now. Measure C would keep the term limit as is on him and force him out while extending the same term limits to the City Council. That one looks like it’s going to prevail and National City will get a new mayor.
You can see all the local results here.
For your commute: If you listen to the Voice of San Diego podcast, Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts did a special episode to digest the results. It’s in your feeds, or you can stream or download it now.
Every year on Election Day, Voice of San Diego reporters fan out across the region and check in with voters as they’re leaving polling stations. It’s always interesting to hear about the biggest issues and races motivating San Diegans to vote.
Many voters on both sides of the aisle in the San Diego portion of the 49th Congressional District in North County said their feelings for outgoing Rep. Darrell Issa influenced their vote over who should replace him.
In Chula Vista, the proposed sales tax increase was one of the top issues driving voter turnout.
Voters in City Heights and southeastern San Diego said they saw themselves as long underserved, and voted for candidates who they believed can better address their concerns.
And in Pacific Beach and Clairemont, voters said the district attorney, City Council and governor’s race were what got them to the polls.
June 5 was a big day in politics not just because of the primary election. It also marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
In a short personal essay, local political consultant Tom Shepard describes how that night shaped him: He was president of the student government at UC San Diego and had tagged along to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles that night — the site of the assassination — with a friend who was working for Senate candidate Alan Cranston.
“We waited, in a state of shock, as the Secret Service shut down the hotel, barring anyone from entering or leaving,” he writes. “We heard the announcement that Kennedy had died and tried to make sense of what we had just witnessed.”
Over the course of a few months last year, more than 60,000 people crammed inside of a large tent in Mission Valley to see art installations and virtual reality films.
The event was called Wonderspaces, and it was conceptualized as a pop-up museum that would travel from city to city. But as Kinsee Morlan reports, those plans have changed. Now the Wonderspaces team is looking for permanent locations in a few select cities, including San Diego.
Also in this week’s Culture Report: checking in with San Diego artist James T. Hubbell, an epic exhibition from India at the San Diego Museum of Art, a massive new East Village venue is opening and more.