Politics

SOME LOCAL RACES FLIP OR GROW CLOSER AS COUNTING BALLOTS CONTINUES

 

 

Hunter lead slips to 4.6% or 11,141 votes; Anderson now trails in Board of Equalization

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (San Diego) – Voter turnout was heavy for a mid-term election -at 51%, according to San Diego’s Registrar of Voters. Since election night, late mail-in ballots and provisional ballots have been trending heavily Democratic nationwide and locally. The lead has flipped in some key races here ranging from a mayoral contest to the board of equalization, and other candidates including Rep. Duncan Hunter have seen their leads shrinking.  

Countywide, 254,000 ballots remain to be counted, but there is no breakdown available on how many ballots are in any specific district. Here are updates on some key races to watch:

EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT RACE FLIPS TO THURMOND AS COUNT CONTINUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2018 (Sacramento)  A key statewide race has flipped, with the counting of late mail-in and provisional ballots. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, a social worker, has pulled ahead in the State Superintendent race. Thurmond now leads over Marshall Tuck by around 74,000 votes and a full percentage point.  

TRUMP FANS FLAMES BY BLAMING WILDFIRES ON CALIFORNIA, THREATENING TO WITHHOLD FEDERAL FUNDS

 

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

November 11, 2018 (San Diego) - With a quarter-million Californians evacuated from their homes and wildfires so far claiming nine lives, President Donal Trump today took to Twitter and inflamed tensions—blaming California for causing the fires by mismanaging its forests and threatening to cut off federal funds.

FULL LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS

East County News Service

November 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Registrar of Voters has posted results with 100% of precincts counted in all races, though some 465,000 late mail-in and provisional ballots remain to be tallied.

We've reported on the major races in East County, but with more than 52 districts on the ballot locally, plus numerous local ballot measures, it's impossible to cover them all. 

You can view results for all local races from water, fire and school boards to community planning groups and more at www.SDVote.com and click on election results.

MEASURE TO KEEP JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT INDEPENDENT QUALIFIES FOR FUTURE BALLOT, BUT FIRE FEE HIKE FAILS

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2018 (Julian) – This week brought good news and bad news for Julian residents fighting to halt a county takeover of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District and save the county’s last all-volunteer fire department.

A citizens’ protest petition seeking to reverse the vote by the Local Agency Formation Agency (LAFCO) to dissolve the fire district obtained enough signatures to qualify for a future ballot, the Registrar of Voters informed advocates this week.  That’s a tough hurdle, since the requirement is more than 50% of property owners in the district. 

“We did it! We are the only ones in the history of LAFCO to ever get this far!” Lori Foss, a supporter of the petition and survivor of the Cedar and Witch fires, stated in an email to East County Magazine on Election Day.

JUDGE KREEP OUSTED BY MATT BROWER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Judge-elect Matt Brower at an Election Night party downtown

November 9, 2018 (San Diego) – Matt Brower has defeated incumbent San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep by a 59% to 41% margin. 

It’s rare for a sitting judge to be voted out of office. But Kreep was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Performance for 29 counts on judicial misconduct and running his courtroom in a biased manner, making derogatory comments about minorities, women attorneys, and people with cases before him. He came within one vote of being removed as a judge by the Commission for his misconduct

Brower is a deputy district attorney and judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was backed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, as well as by the San Diego County Democratic Party and also had cross-party support including Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

SCHOOL BOND MEASURES: MT. EMPIRE FAILING, SANTEE AND BORREGO PASSING

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two East County school districts appear to have reached the 55% majority needed for passage, but a third failed to meet the mark, with 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be tallied.

TRUMP OUSTS ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS, REMOVES ROSENSTEIN FROM OVERSIGHT OF MUELLER PROBE: PROTESTS TODAY SEEK TO PROTECT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

 Protests against Whitaker takeover of Trump-Russia probe are slated at 5 p.m. today, including Ramona’s Collier Park  and federal courthouse downtown

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Critics are accusing President Donald Trump of obstructing justice after the President forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Post reports. The removal of Sessions shits oversight of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the special counsel probe due to conflict of interest laws, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge.  But with Sessions gone, Whittaker is now in charge of the investigation that he has long criticized.

CA BALLOT PROPOSITIONS: GAS TAX REPEAL AND RENT CONTROL MEASURES FAIL, BUT VOTERS APPROVE HOUSING BONDS, CAGE-FREE HENS AND ENDING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (Sacramento) – California voters will continue to pay a gas tax to fund repairs of roads and bridges, after Proposition 6, a ballot measure that would have repealed the tax, failed by a 55-45% margin. 

Prop 10, an effort to make it easier for cities to impose rent controls, failed by a whopping 62-38% vote. 

But voters approved ending daylight savings time, passing Prop 7 by a 60-40% margin.  Voters also passed Prop 1, approving bonds to fund affordable housing and housing for veterans by a 54-46% margin.

Below is a rundown on all 11 measures on the ballot (a 12th, Prop 9, was removed by a court due to constitutional concerns.)

JONES WINS OPEN STATE SENATE SEAT; INCUMBENTS REELECTED IN OTHER EAST COUNTY RACES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Brian Jones, shown at Politics in Paradise, has returned to the Legislature

Update December 13, 2018:  In the final count, Jones won with 53% of the vote to 47% for Griffith, the closest margin in recent history for this district.

November 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Brian Jones, a familiar face in East County Politics, will be the new State Senator in the 38th State Senate District. Jones, a Republican former Assemblyman and current Santee City Councilman,  has defeated Cal Fire Captain Jeff Griffith a Democrat, by a 56 to 44 percent margin with 72% of precincts counted.

ANDERSON LEADS BY NARROW MARGIN IN BOARD OF EQUALIZATION RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2018 (San Diego) – Republican State Senator Joel Anderson is in a tight race for Board of Equalization seat 4.  The Secretary of State reports that overall in the race spanning five counties, Anderson leads 50.9% over Democrat Mike Schaeffer, who has 49.1%.   The real shocker is that in his home county, San Diego, Anderson has lost with just 47.7% of the vote to Schaeffer’s 52.3%.

DEMOCRATS CAPTURE HOUSE, BUT REPUBLICANS EXPAND CONTROL OF SENATE; 7 GOVERNSHIPS FLIP FROM RED TO BLUE

 

Update November 9, 2018:  An Arizona Senate race has flipped, with a Democrat now leading, reducing Republican gains to 2 seats if that holds.  A recount is also looming in Florida, where a Republican stlll leads.

By Miriam Raftery

 November 7, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Democrats flipped over 30 seats from red to blue nationwide, regaining control of the House of Representatives in Congress by a 223 to 200 margin.  Only 218 seats are needed for a majority in the 435-seat House, where a handful of races have not yet been decided.

In the Senate, by contrast, Republicans picked up three seats to boost their majority from 51 to 54 in the 100-seat body.

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

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