It’s DeMaio vs Filner in the fall
(UPDATED AT 5:15 P.M. MONDAY JUNE 11 : New totals just released show Scott Peters increasing his lead over Lori Saldana for the second spot in the 52nd Congressional District race from 790 to 795 votes. About 29,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted, according to the county Registrar of Voters.)
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Tuesday was a good night for Rancho Bernardo resident Carl DeMaio, who led the mayoral primary race and saw voters support two city propositions he backs.
“I think this is a great victory for reform,” said DeMaio, who will face Rep. Bob Filner in the November general election. “Propositions A and B passed, which are the centerpiece of my fiscal reform plan.”
DeMaio said there will also be more support for reform on the City Council, with fellow Rancho Bernardan Mark Kersey, who was unopposed, succeeding him as the District 5 representative and Scott Sherman receiving more than 50 percent of votes in the District 7 race despite facing three opponents. With Ray Ellis leading incumbent Sherri Lightner in District 1 — the winner to be decided in November — DeMaio said there would likely be a majority on the council that will help him “get things done” as mayor.
In coming months, the Republican DeMaio said he will reach out to supporters of Republican-turned-independent Nathan Fletcher, who, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting but with many absentee ballots yet to be counted, was in third place, and fellow Republican Bonnie Dumanis, who came in fourth. He also will try to persuade some of Filner’s backers to switch their support to him in the runoff.
“I recognize I was not the first choice for all San Diegans in the primary, but in my administration no one will be left behind or turned away as we unite (to reform) San Diego,” he said when interviewed by the Rancho Bernardo News Journal.
When speaking to supporters, DeMaio made an analogy of voters being in the driver’s seat, shifting from neutral to drive “and putting their foot on the gas.”
He told them, “San Diegans are ready to move the city forward into the future.”
DeMaio also said he will not be waiting until being elected mayor to continue city reform efforts, which took a step forward with the passage of Proposition A — that bans requiring project labor agreements in city projects — and Proposition B — that if proved legal would put all new city employees except police officers in a 401(k)-style plan instead of a defined pension plan.
Filner said the legality of Proposition B is likely to be challenged in the courts for years and Proposition A will likely cost the city around $200 million in state funding. As of 1:53 a.m. Wednesday, he was in second-place but only 2 percent behind DeMaio.
In contrast to DeMaio’s plan, Filner said his plan could be implemented soon after he takes office, would cap pensions, achieve labor concessions for five years through negotiations and put $550 million in the general plan without raising taxes.
“I speak optimistically about the future,” Filner said, referring to DeMaio as the “doom and gloom” candidate.
Though closely trailing Filner throughout the night in third place, Fletcher told supporters on Tuesday night that he would remain optimistic until all the ballots were counted.
“One year ago we started this journey and no one gave us a chance,” Fletcher said. “But when you look at how far we’ve come, we can easily wait for a few more hours to see the results. … Based on early returns and projections we are headed in the right direction.”
Fletcher, who gave up is state Assembly seat to run for mayor, told supporters “tonight we’ve sent a clear message that there is a different way,” referring to his abandoning the Republican party to become an independent earlier this year.
As for other races, Carmel Mountain Ranch resident Brian Maienschein, a Republican, and 4S Ranch resident Ruben “RJ” Hernandez, a Democrat, will advance to the state Assembly 77th District runoff. Though as of early Wednesday, Maienschein continued to have almost twice as many votes as Hernandez, Maienschein remained at 47 percent, just a few percentage points short of avoiding the November runoff.
Maienschein, a former District 5 City Councilman, said, “I’m somebody who stuck up for the people in my district and when I go to Sacramento will do the same thing.” He added that his leadership during the 2003 and 2007 wildfire recovery efforts showed the community what he could do. “The fires changed my life professionally and personally,” Maienschein said.
As for the County Supervisor District 3 race, as of early Wednesday it was known Steve Danon and Dave Roberts would face each other again in November, but they were too close to say who came in first or second since they were separated by a little over 1 percent and 135,000 absentee and provisional ballots had yet to be counted.
County Communications Specialist Tracy DeFore said as of 8 p.m. Tuesday when polls closed, the Registrar of Voters office had received 270,115 of the 762,737 absentee ballots sent out countywide. As for those sent to City of San Diego voters, she said they accounted for 315,716 of the county’s absentee ballots and 110,774 had been returned. Those numbers were likely to change as precincts turned in absentee ballots dropped off at polls on Tuesday.
Another too-close- to-call race is the 52nd Congressional contest. While incumbent Brian Bilbray, a Republican, came in first with more than 41 percent of votes, less than one percent separated Democrats Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña, who were vying to be Bilbray’s opponent in the November runoff.
Not facing a runoff is incumbent Darrell Issa, who throughout the night maintained his 58 percent-plus voter approval in the 49th Congressional race.
In the state Senate 39th District race, Assemblyman Marty Block, a Democrat, and former Assemblyman George Plescia, a Republican, are advancing to the runoff, with them almost evenly dividing 90 percent of votes cast.
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