DeMaio concedes mayor’s race to Filner; close races for Congress, supervisor
UDATE: Carl DeMaio announced at a press conference Wednesday morning that he is conceding the race for San Diego mayor to Bob Filner.
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
San Diego’s new mayor has yet to be determined, one of several races that as of Wednesday morning was too close to call.
City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Rancho Bernardan and Republican, held a 2 percent lead throughout Tuesday night, but it eroded in the early hours of Wednesday when Congressman Bob Filner surpassed DeMaio by 3 percent due to an almost 10,000 vote lead.
When 100 percent of precincts had reported by 2:30 a.m. there were 475,000 absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted.
Before midnight both mayoral candidates said the race might take days to decide when thanking supporters and expressing optimism they would win.
DeMaio spoke of his years of work to put the city on the fiscal reform path.
“We have much to be proud of and celebrate,” DeMaio said, calling for an end of “labels” for various population segments and unification under one label, “San Diegans.”
“If elected mayor I pledge to govern without labels … and to work in the best interest of the city,” he said.
Filner, who spoke a half-hour later, said his victory would continue the Democrat’s trend that ranged from the presidency to District 1 City Council race that created a 5-4 Democrat majority through Sherri Lightner’s re-election.
“Win or lose, we have done so much for this city,” the union-backed Filner said. “The power structure is going to change.”
Filner called for a “progressive” movement, saying San Diegans will have “a new city, a new City Hall … (that is) moving us forward.”
The 52nd Congressional Distrit race was also too close to call Wednesday morning. At 1 a.m. there was a 13-vote difference with incumbent Brian Bilbray (a Republican) leading former City Councilman Scott Peters (a Democrat). However, at 2:30 a.m. Peters had a 685-vote lead.
After trailing by 2 percentage points throughout the evening, by midnight Democrat and Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts pulled slightly ahead of Republican Steve Danon in the Third District County Board of Supervisors race. Separated by almost 1,900 votes as of 2:30 a.m. this race is too close to call.
It is a different situation in the 77th District state Assembly race, with former City Councilman Brian Maienschein, a Republican and Carmel Mountain Ranch resident, maintaining a 22-plus percent lead over political newcomer Ruben “R.J.” Hernandez, a Democrat and 4S Ranch resident.
“It’s just really exciting … and I’m really grateful to the district for choosing me to represent it at the state level,” Maienschein said Tuesday night. “I’m just very grateful, humbled and honored (voters) have given me (their support). I grew up in this district and it is a great honor to get to represent them in Sacramento.”
Maienschein said his initial goals are to create more jobs in the state and protect education and schools. “We’re fortunate to have good schools here and I want to protect them,” he said.
In other races:
• In the 39th state Senate race, Democrat Marty Block has maintained his sizable lead over Republican George Plescia that began when polls closed.
• Sabre Springs resident Kimberly Beatty has won a seat on Poway Unified School District board with incumbent and Poway resident Andy Patapow being re-elected. Incumbent Powegian Linda Vanderveen of Poway lost her re-election bid.
• Two new members will join the Palomar Health board. Jeff Griffith, incumbent Linda Greer and Dr. Aeron Wickes were the front-runners for three seats, with incumbents Nancy Bassett and Dr. Marcelo Rivera in fourth- and fifth-place respectively among seven candidates.
• In the 49th Congressional District incumbent Republican Darrell Issa significantly leads Democrat Jerry Tetalman.
• Incumbent Nancy Chadwick leads the Palomar Community College board race, with John Halcon and Nancy Ann Hensch in second- and third-place among six candidates for three seats.
Election results that could take days or weeks to decide was no surprise to Registrar of Voters officials, who said results announced right after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday accounted for 30 percent of ballots.
“All the precinct ballots may not arrive until after 2 a.m.,” said county spokeswoman Tracy DeFore. “Those ballots along with the ballot results released at 8 p.m. may only account for 80 percent of the total vote.”
DeFore said turnout of 75 to 80 percent of registered voters was expected, adding with 1.6 million registered voters for this election a county record was set. Therefore, officials established 1,527 precincts, 95 more than for June’s primary.
Another record was the issuance of more than 850,000 mail ballots. DeFore said 100,000 to 150,000 could be dropped off on Tuesday. The signature on each must be verified before counted.
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