Politics

DEMOCRATS SWEEP STATEWIDE RACES AND GAIN VETO-PROOF MAJORITY IN LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (file photo by Ron Logan)

November 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – Maintaining California’s reputation as the bluest state in the nation, Democrats won every statewide office and also regained a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in both houses of the State Legislature –with two votes to spare.

WOMEN WINNING IN LA MESA SPRING-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left to right:  Rebecca McRae, Charda Fontenot, and Megan Epperson

November 7, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – Three seats are open in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District due to three conservative Republicans stepping down.  Two slates have been vying for those seats and with 63% of precincts tallied, voters appear to have split among the conservative and reform slates. The common factor among the three currently in the lead is gender: all three are women in an election season that’s seen women winning races across the nation.

Teacher Rebecca McRae and lactation consultant/parent Charda Fontenot, both endorsed by the district’s teacher’s union and by the Democratic party in the official nonpartisan race, are currently in first and second place with 21.25% and 15.34%.  Megan Epperson, a parent backed by the Republican Party, has 15.19%.

FLETCHER AND DESMOND WIN SUPERVISOR RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: left:  Nathan Fltecher toasts victory with champagne and a dance with his wife, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher; right, Jim Desmond, new Supervisor whose district includes Borrego Springs and some inland mountain towns

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Due to term  limits, Supervisors Bill Horn and Ron Roberts are leaving office.

In the race to fill Roberts’ seat, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has defeated former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis by a  65% to 35% margin with 69% of precincts counted, becoming only the second Democrat in three decades to serve on the County Board of Supervisors. Fletcher, formerly a Republican and independent; he is married to powerhouse Democratic Assemblywoman and former labor council leader Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher.

Bill Horn’s seat will be filled by San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, a Republican and part-time pilot for United Airlines. Desmond defeated Michelle Gomez, a Democrat and legislative analyst, by a 60/40 margin as of this morning’s tally. Horn’s district includes portions of northeast San Diego County include Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, Ranchita, Pauma Valley and Valley Center as well as north coastal communities. Desmond also serves on the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG) the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, and the County Economic Development Corporation.

EL CAJON MAYOR WELLS AND COUNCILMAN KENDRICK THUMP CHALLENGERS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo by Jesse Kendrick: Mayor  Wells and Councilman Kendrick savor Election Night victories

November 7, 2018 (El Cajon)--El Cajon voters returned Mayor Bill Wells and Councilma/Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick to their positions on the El Cajon City Council on Tuesday night with veritable knockout punches against their challengers.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Mayor Bill Wells maintained his lead all evening with 66% (7799 votes) while his challenger, East County businessman Joel A. Scalzitti garnered only 26% (3064 votes). Robert M. Weaver, Jr., in spite of dropping out of the race early and not mounting a campaign because of federal Hatch Act conflicts with his position with the federal government, garnered 8% of the vote with 905 votes.

With nearly 88% precincts reporting, Councilman Kendrick was successful in staving off a challenge from fellow Councilman Ben Kalasho by a landslide. Kendrick got a whopping 85% (3408 votes) with Kalasho only getting 15% (621 votes). 

DEMOCRAT LEVIN FLIPPING THE 49th; REP. HUNTER HANGING ON IN 50th

Mike Levin and Diane Harkey

 

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photos, left to right: Rep. Duncan Hunter, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Mike Levin, Diane Harkey

November 6, 2028 (San Diego)-- Voters warmed to environmental attorney Mike Levin as early state results show the Democrat wresting the coastal 49th Congressional District from longtime GOP control.

The state’s overall tally showed voters in southern Orange County and northern San Diego County favoring Levin over state Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey, a Republican endorsed by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, 53 percent to 47 percent.

INCUMBENTS WIN REELECTION IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (Spring Valley) --- A trio of incumbents backed by the firefighters' union won reelection easily in the San Miguel Fire Protection District.

With 39% of districts counted, Theresa McKenna has 33.2%, Jim Ek 27.4%, and Michael Vaio 26.6%, defeating William A. Kiel II, son of board member William Kiel. The younger Kiel, a  trading card company owner with no fire experience, drew just 12.8% of the vote.

The stakes were high in the race, since the three incumbents who won reelection voted to return the district to independent operation, cancelling a contract with Cal Fire. The action passed by a slim one-vote margin, with Kiel, senior, voting against separating from Cal Fire.

CONSERVATIVES SWEEP IN SANTEE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino and Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfeld await final election results in Santee

November 6, 2018 (Santee) – A grassroots effort to elect slow-growth, progressive candidates to the Santee City Council appears unsuccessful, with a conservative slate leading handily for all three seats and two Republican incumbents headed to reelection.

This was Santee’s first election since dividing the city into districts instead of at-large elections.

INCUMBENTS LEADING IN LEMON GROVE



By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Challenger Teresa Rosiak says even if she doesn't win, she hopes to restart a Chamber of Commerce to help bring new businsses to Lemon Grove and help improve the city's economy.

November 6, 2018 ( Lemon Grove) – With 14% of precincts counted, incumbent Councilmenbers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones appear headed for reelection in Lemon Grove. They are leading with 32.48% and 29% of the votes respectively.

WEBER, BABER LEAD IN TIGHT RACE IN LA MESA

 

Update November 7, 2018:  With 39% of precincts tallied, Weber and Baber maintain the lead with 27.43% and 25.94% respectively over McWhirter at 24.79% and Myers at 21.84%. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Akilah Weber and her sons at Democratic Party celebration downtown

November 6, 2018 (La Mesa) — One of the closest races in East County is unfolding in La Mesa, where incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter face tough challenges from physician Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers.  Weber is currently in first place with 27.06% of the vote, narrowly leading over Baber at 26.22% and McWhirter at 25.03%, with Myers at 21.68%.  But only five of 33 precincts have been counted as of midnight.

The offices are officially nonpartisan, but Weber and Myers are endorsed by Democrats while Baber and McWhirter are backed by Republicans.  The “blue wave” that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives thus far appears to have split in La Mesa.

FOLLOW EASTCOUNTYMAG ON TWITTER FOR TONIGHT'S EAST COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

November 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Our reporting team will be at Election Central tonight and on the road where our local candidates will be congregating.  Internect connectivity may be spotty; we will be reporting results first @EastCountyMag on Twitter and then posting on our site later on tonight.

May the best candidates win, and congratulations to all who ran!

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH: CANDIDATES GET OUT THE VOTE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County ) -- In the final days and hours before today's election, candidates have been working hard to get the word out about their candidacies. Here are some photos from the campaign trail:

In the hotly contested Santee City Council district 1, Evlyn Andrade Heymsfeld says she's knocked on 3,000 doors -- and taken to the streets with supporters to wave at passing motorists as she pledges to work on reducing traffic gridlock.(photo by Jonathan Goetz)

Her opponent, Councilman Rob McNelis, has been busy phone banking -- with support from Mayor John Minto. (photo by Jonathan Goetz)

SANTEE-BASED GUN OWNERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENTS

 

East County News Service

Photo, Michael Schwartz, executive director, SDCGO



November 6, 2018 (San Diego's East County) – San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), a Santee-based political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights, has announced its endorsement of East County candidates for the Nov. 6 election.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: PRE-ELECTION EDITION

 

By Buck Schott

November 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – On Election Eve, here are a few last-minute signs of the times:

Stealing or defacing campaign signs is illegal. But in Santee, someone has found a creative way to augment info for voters by adding their own message underneath Congressman Duncan Hunter’s signs (left).

REP. HUNTER AND TRUMP WANT TO ELIMINATE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES, BUT SUPREME COURT RULED THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, declared his intention to eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order – a move that reputable legal scholars on both the left and right agree would be unconstitutional.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has previously supported a bill in Congress to similarly end granting citizenship to most children of immigrants born here.

Trump stated,  "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order." 

But the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. is crystal clear that everyone born in the U.S. must be granted citizenship.  It states: "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld that the amendment does cover children of immigrants, regardless of their parents' legal status.

FALSE AND MISLEADING HIT PIECES TARGET DEMOCRATS IN LA MESA

Updated with comments from Councilmembers Baber and McWhirter, plus additional information on the Public Safety Advocates PAC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – A flurry of deceptive mailers have been sent to Democrats in La Mesa, where two Democratic candidates, Dr. Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff commander Dave Myers are challenge Republican incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter.  

One mailer paid for by the Baber-McWhirter campaign urged Democrats to vote – on the wrong date. (The election is Tuesday, November 6th.) The flyer had photos endorsing Republicans McWhirter and Baber as well as Mayor Mark Arapostathis, who is running unopposed. Baber says this was his mistake. "It was a typo. I wish I had Miriam as my editor!" he quipped. His campaign later sent a corrected copy, which he forwarded to ECM.

Two other mailers were sent by the “Public Safety Advocates” PAC in Encinitas and include negative information on the two Democrats, including false statements about Weber

THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

MCNELIS LEADS ALL SANTEE CANDIDATES IN CONTRIBUTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

November 2, 2018 (Santee) -- Running in his fourth city election, Santee Councilman Rob McNelis has been around the block a few times asking for funds to pay for such things as campaign signs and mailers so it’s no surprise that he easily leads the pack of seven candidates for the City Council with about $23,000 collected as of late October.

DEVELOPMENT IS KEY ISSUE IN SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 RACE: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS



 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first election in which Santee residents cast votes by district. In District 1, Councilman Rob NcNelis, a market leader with a mortgage banking company and former Chamber of Commerce president, is running against Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield, a software engineer and business owner who worked at U.C. Berkeley’s school of public health as a program manager and chair of the staff advisory council.

Key issues are development vs. quality of life, as well as how to address the city’s budget deficit. Andrade-Heymsfield claims her opponent puts developers’ interests over those of residents; she pledges to oppose Fanita Ranch. McNelis says he’s voted against some developer donors’ projects and votes for what's best for Santee. He pledges to keep government small and out of people’s pockets; Andrade-Heymsfield says she has ideas for new revenue sources to address the city’s deficit without raising taxes. 

We interviewed both candidates on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. Hear the full interviews by clicking the audio links (Evlyn Andrade Heymsfield audio and Rob McNelis audio) plus read highlights below.

Audio: 

Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield interview
Rob McNelis interview

ECM EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON COUNCILMEMBER BEN KALASHO SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL USE OF CITY RESOURCES

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 1, 2018 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho today signed a settlement to end his latest legal battle with the city he represents, after his fellow Councilmembers voted unanimously on Monday to sue Kalasho for illegal use of city resources in his campaign to unseat incumbent Gary Kendrick.

The City had intended to bring the matter to the attention of the County of San Diego District Attorney, the California State Attorney General, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

VOTERS TO DECIDE BOND TO RENOVATE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE SCHOOLS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

November 1, 2018 (Alpine) - Residents in the Mountain Empire Unified School District are being asked to find out more about Measure JJ, a $15-million bond to renovate aging facilities at eight schools in sprawling rural East San Diego County.

EXCLUSIVE: EL CAJON MAYOR CANDIDATE JOEL SCALZITTI’S TRAIL OF TAX LIENS AND LAWSUITS

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 27, 2018 (El Cajon) -- An extensive background check on Joel Anthony Scalzitti, the challenger running against El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, shows that the local politician and businessman has had his share of legal problems and tax liens.

HUNTER LEAD DWINDLES TO JUST 3 POINTS OVER CAMPA-NAJJAR, POLL BY KGTV AND SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE FINDS

 

East County News Service

October 31, 2018 (San Diego) – Every vote counts in the 50th Congressional District, where an upset win by Democrats is looking increasingly possible depending on voter turnout.

Under felony indictment, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter’s lead over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar has slipped to a slim three points, 48% to 45%, according to a new poll conducted by Survey USA for KGTV 10 News and the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. 

Among voters who say they already turned in ballots, the margin shrinks to just 1 percent, 49% to 48%.

KENDRICK FUNDRAISING MORE THAN DOUBLE KALASHO’S

 

By Miriam Raftery

View Kendrick Schedule A contributions report

View Kalasho Schedule A contributions report

October 30, 2018 (El Cajon) – Council Ben Kalasho has raised $10,259.77 for the reporting period ending October 20th, and 100% of that was donated by  Kalasho, who lists no other donors to his campaign. By contrast, his opponent, Councilman Gary Kendrick, has raised $23,170 this reporting period.  For the campaign to date, Kendrick has raised over $46,000 while Kalasho has received $22,200 total, according to reports filed with the city of El Cajon.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO VOTE ON WIND TURBINE HEALTH STUDY AND SEXUAL PREDATOR PLACEMENT NOV. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

View full agenda

View minutes from last meeting

View letter from Mark Wardlaw on wind health impacts study

October 30, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group will meet Thursday, November 1st at 7 p.m. in the Backcountry Resource Center (39919 Ribbon Rd., Boulevard  behind the old fire station).  Action items include Chair Donna Tisdale’s request to respond to a letter from County Planning Department Director Mark Wardlaw in which Wardlaw advised that the County Health and Human Services Agency is preparing a report on human health effects of wind turbines.  The group will also vote on opposing placement of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, in Jacumba.

PROMINENT DEMOCRATS SUPPORTING REPUBLICAN IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE

 

East County News Service

October 29, 2018 (El Cajon) – Even Democrats are supporting the Republican in the El Cajon City Council race.

Republican Gary Kendrick, who has served on the city council since 2002, has gained the support of a number of prominent Democrats in his race against Ben Kalasho, a city councilman since 2016.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL SAYS “NO” TO KALASHO

 

Council votes against reimbursing Kalasho for settlement with activist Mark Lane

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho did not get the answer he wanted to hear from his colleagues on Tuesday.

The El Cajon City Council voted 3-0 this week that it would not fork over $1,500 to reimburse Kalasho for his legal settlement with San Diego activist Mark Lane. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was not present due to illness, leaving the decision up to Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick and Councilmembers Bob McLellan and Steve Goble. Kalasho was required to recuse himself.

BOMB SUSPECT ARRESTED ATTENDED TRUMP RALLIES, TARGETED LIBERAL LEADERS AND MEDIA

By Miriam Raftery

October 26, 2018 (Washington D.C.)  – The FBI today announced the arrest of Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man suspected of sending at least 14 pipe bombs that targeted former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as other prominent Democrats, a CNN commentator and critics of President Donald Trump. 

Sayoc, a Republican, attended rallies held by Trump at which Trump vilified Democrats and the media. Rally images show him wearing a red Make America Great hat.

Sayoc has a criminal record that includes making a prior bomb threat in 2002, theft and sale of illegal steroids.

Kicked out by his parents, he was living in his van plastered with pro-Trump, anti-liberal stickers  and messages critical of CNN, the network reports.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR BILL WELLS ON HIS REELECTION CAMPAIGN





Listen to our interview by clicking this link



East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine Show’s producer Miriam Raftery.

You can hear the full interviewed aired on KNSJ Radio at the audio link, or scroll down for highlights as he discusses his achievements as Mayor and his goals for the city if reelected.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARDÁ FONTENOT, LMSV SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE ON RESTORING RESPECT AND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Reform candidates’ slate reveals opponents used deceptive tactics, including fake photo, misleading claim on backing by teachers, and scare tactic over theater program

Listen to our interview aired on KNSJ

East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (La Mesa) – Chardá Fontenot is representing a slate of three candidates running to bring changes to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board. She says  she wants to increase transparency, bridge the achievement gap between minority and white students, bring back sixth grade camp, increase revenue sources and restore respect by board members to students, teachers and parents. 

She’s also criticized an opposing slate for deceptive tactics used in their campaign, including running a fake candidate photo and misleading voters on which slate has backing from the LMSV Teacher's Association.

Fontenot has served as a district advisory council representative, parent volunteer, and currently chairs the school site council. A mother who once attended schools in the district herself, she’s also  a certified lactation counselor who owns a lactation business.

Hear her full interview on KNSJ 89.1 FM at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Charda Fontenot, LMSV candidate

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