By Kendra Sitton
November 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- In the race to replace Representative Susan Davis in the 53rd District, Sara Jacobs took a decisivie lead over City Council President Georgette Gomez. As of 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Gomez trailed by over 40,000 votes and conceded the race to Jacob.
Both candidates ran as progressives in a heavily blue district.
Georgette Gomez is San Diego’s current City Council President and representative of District 9. Before holding office; she was an environmental justice organizer.
Sara Jacobs has not held elected office before but she is the granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. She has previously worked in the State Department and is a childhood anti-poverty advocate.
Both women are vying to fill the seat vacated by Susan Davis who is retiring. She previously held the seat for almost 20 years and was considered more moderate than her district.
In the beginning, Gomez looked like a clear favorite in the heavily blue district. She has governing experience and secured the endorsement of many local elected leaders, the Democratic Party and even national leaders like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez.
However, with a $1.5 million infusion of cash from Jacob’s grandparents into a Super PAC supporting her, Jacobs quickly became a formidable opponent. She has also bolstered her campaign with millions of her own money.
Running without elected experience has advantages and disadvantages. While some want a more experienced leader, voters can hold anything they see as a bad decision, a broken promise or a poor compromise against someone who has already held office
Over the summer, Gomez voted in favor of a San Diego city budget that did not rein in police spending which some leftists saw as a betrayal.
While Jacobs is untested in political office, she touted her work with the federal government as making her better qualified to tackle foreign affairs. Jacobs has also run on environmental issues like having an entirely clean energy economy by 2030.
Meanwhile, Gomez ran on helping the local community. She also said her personal experience growing up living paycheck to paycheck and with housing insecurity situated her to understand the issues people are really facing. In addition, she is the daughter of immigrants.
The two contrasting identities of the women have come into sharp focus as they have somewhat similar platforms. Despite criticisms of her wealthy background, Jacobs appears likely to win this seat.