California Primary: San Diego Conservatives Are Celebrating Way Too Early

Since Primary election eve, when the results were coming in, San Diego conservatives have been celebrating their perceived “victories”.  Me thinks they are celebrating way too early, as the results are not as favorable to the GOP and their extremist friends as they think it was.  Check this out.

First, the California Primary was one of the lowest voter turn-outs in history – 36% – if not the lowest. Low turn-outs tend to favor conservatives, whereas large turn-0uts favor Democrats and liberals.  And Democrats did stay away from the polls, as there was no big-ticket item on the ballot. Sure, Barack Obama was on it but he was a shoe-in. And Senator Dianne Feinstein was on it as well, but she didn’t have any serious challengers.  Yes, there were two state-wide measures – and one of them – Prop 28 – which does aid democracy just a tad -passed handily – but how can anyone get excited about a tax on tobacco.

Lack of State-Wide Reason for Democrats to Vote

So, there was nothing state-wide driving Democrats to the polls. This did help Republicans and conservatives – but it clearly is not over yet.  In November, Democrats are expected – as they always do – to vote in heavier numbers in a presidential contest that is contentious. This will greatly boost every Democrat in every race up and down the state. So, conservatives are simply celebrating too early.

Carl DeMaio and his cronies and supporters have certainly been hooting it up. Yes, Prop B did pass – but yes, it probably will end up in court. And when voters find out how badly Prop A does for the City, there will probably be a backlash against its supporters. Not good news for the GOP.

Future Mayor and City Council Democratic

Yet, DeMaio and his friends all spent a lot of money whereas everyone knows Bob Filner hardly spent anything and not even mustering a TV ad. But guess what? Filner – despite all Carl’s funds – got within two percentage points of DeMaio. Very close.

And it cannot be assumed – by any measure – that Fletcher and Dumanis’ supporters will be backing DeMaio.  Friends of Fletcher will long remember the antagonism between these two younger, white guys. And Dumanis was able to garner the early support of big-name Democrats, who quiet likely will return to the fold come November.

So, for example, if two-thirds of Fletcher voters switch to Filner, and a conservative estimate of one-third of Bonnie’s people going for Bob, Filner could very well be the first Democratic mayor in twenty years for San Diego.

If Filner wins in November, what kind of City Council will he be facing?

All political observers can agree that right now, the make-up of the San Diego Council is 4 to 4 (Dems: Young, Gloria, Emerald and Alvarez versus Reps: Faulconer, Lorie Zapf, new guy Mark Kersey, and the victor Scott Sherman) . The Sheri Lightner race with Republican Ray Ellis will be a deciding factor for the balance on the Council. Lightner received 42% to Ellis’ 46%, but Democrat Bryan Pease got 7%, which likely will go to Sheri. Lightner could very well take it in five months.

With Filner in the mayor’s seat, you would then have a five to four Democratic majority on the San Diego City Council. Not bad for the “losing” side. This could happen in November, and clearly the conservatives are blowing their horns too soon.

Other Races

How did the Democrats and the Labor Council do in the other races around the County?

Obviously, Darrel Issa and Duncan Hunter, Jr. will be returning to Congress. The Dem-backed Jerry Tetalman only received half of what Issa got (31%).  Anti-nuke activist Dick Eiden only got 7% of the vote in that 49th District.

The Democrats could hardly push anyone to go up against Hunter in the 50th District, but unknown David Secor garnered 17%, and the other Dem in the race got 8%.  Tea Party activist challenger Terri Linnell received only 3%.

Yet Democrat Juan Vargas swept into the run-off in the 51st District with a massive 46%, sweeping aside Dem challenger Denise Ducheny, and who will likely vanquish Michael Cummins in the Fall.

And then there’s the 52nd District where Scott Peters and Lori Saldana are still trying to figure out who got the most.  Whoever it is will be a very strong challenger to Brian Bilbray.

In the 53rd – Susan Davis – a Democrat of course, over-powered extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch with her 57%.

Marty Block, a Dem, will go up against George Plescia for the State Senate District 39, and with fellow Democrat Patrick Marsh’s 10% of the vote, Block will probably keep his seat.

The left did not do well in both the 71st or 75th Assembly Districts – as Dem favorites Patrick Hurley and Matthew Herold both remained in the low thirties in percentages. But in the 76th, unknown Rocky Chavez with 39% will go up against Sherry Hodges. Mainstream Brian Maienschein will going up against a lesser-known Ruben Hernandez.

Toni Atkins walked away with her 60% of the vote. And in the 79th District, there was a four-way contest between four Democrats.  It appears that Dr. Shirley Weber bested her D opponents and will go forward to beat Republican Mary England in November.  Ben Hueso – another Democratic Party candidate in the 80th – walked away also with his seat with 60%.

This is all not too shabby for a party that supposedly was smashed in Tuesday’s polling.

The Superior Court races were something else, all together. David Berry beat out Terrie Roberts (Roberts had some questionable elements in her record), and extremist Jim Miller will be going up against liberal Robert Amador, and Miller is likely to lose. Then there’s birther Gary Kreep so close to GOP centrist Garland Peed that we don’t know the results.

In terms of the education run-offs, at the San Diego Unified School Board, we have Richard Barrera, unopposed; we have Dem-backed John Lee Evans going up against Mark Powell, and we have Dem Marne Foster winning outright for District E.

On the County Board, there’s our fave Gregg Robinson (also a blogger for us) getting in second place for a show-down with dinosaur John Witt.  We have labor-backed Lyn Nelon winning a run-off with Rindone, and then there’s labor-backed Mark Anderson winning it on the first ballot.  At the Community College board, labor-supported Bernie Rhinerson was the top vote getter and will be in the November run-off with Scott Hasson.

All in all, the conservatives and Republicans in this City and County are celebrating prematurely as the Primary results did not favor them as much as they would like to believe – especially with the looming November election just five months away.

Carl, put the champagne away, buddy. It’s not over yet.

A lawyer and grassroots activist, I was finally convinced by Patty Jones to start the OB Rag, a blog of citizen journalists, after she got tired of listening to my rants about the news. Way back during the Dinosaurs in 1970, I founded the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag - OB’s famous underground newspaper -, and then later during the early Eighties, published The Whole Damn Pie Shop, a progressive alternative to the Reader.


  1. avatarDoug Porter says

    Very astute. One small point: while the turnout in San Diego may have been at 36%, the turnout statewide was 27%. And yes, that was the lowest in history.

  2. avatarAndy Cohen says

    I know that Nick Popaditch is a real piece of work (I met him prior to the 2010 election at the Doctor’s TEA Party, where there were no San Diego doctors in attendance–they had to be shipped in from out of state), but I don’t think he’s a white supremacist. That may be a bridge too far. The guy is an extremist; a militarist; a “cut all government spending except for the military, which we need to spend more on” kind of guy, but he doesn’t strike me necessarily as a racist. A kook, yes. A bigot, I don’t think so.

    But Nick, thank you for your military service and your sacrifice (he lost an eye in combat). I still find your policy positions reprehensible, though.

    • avatar says

      Oh yeah. If you were around in 2010, one of Popaditch’s biggest supporters was a white supremacist, and Nick did nothing to distance himself from that guy or his policies.

      • avatarAndy Cohen says

        Just because he’s “associating” with white supremacists doesn’t mean he’s one himself. We can and certainly SHOULD hold his feet to the fire for not rebuking white supremacist policies. And I agree that his association with said white supremacist disqualifies him for office. It’s entirely fair to hold him accountable for who he associates with and the policies those people espouse–if it’s fair to do it with Kris Kobach, who accepted donations in his run for Congress in Kansas from white supremacists, then it’s fair to do it with Popaditch. But it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a white supremacist himself.

        He should absolutely be held accountable for being tolerant of those kinds of policies. I just don’t know if you can call him a white supremacist himself.

    • avatarGoatskull says

      I’ve had the interesting pleasure of meeting some former active duty Marines who were under his charge. Interesting guys to say the least and were less than enthused with me when I told them I was retired Navy but yet am liberal and normally vote Democrat.

  3. avatar says

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and hangs out with ducks …. Okay, I’m not gonna make any more comments here, like, it’s Andy, Dixon, Frank, Doug, Frank, Andy ….

  4. avatar says

    Okay, he’s not a white supremacist, he’s anti-Semitic instead. Gee, I’m sorry. See, this is what happens when you have a memory – Here is my post from November 2010:
    Mainsteam media ignore anti-Semitic violence against Bob Filner at Election Central

    Popaditch supporter calls for ‘armed rebellion’ after electoral defeat.

    The incident the other night at Election Central at Golden Hall where defeated tea bagger Nick Popaditch and his supporters corralled, harassed, and shoved the winner of the Congressional race Bob Filner up against a column, has not been covered by the mainstream media. Except for the OB Rag, the San Diego CityBeat, East County Magazine, and the Chula Vista Star News, San Diego and national press have ignored this violent and anti-Semitic incident against a sitting member of the US House of Representatives. (The OB Rag – with the help of CityBeat and others – broke this story.)

    The story also has even more ugliness and a deep undertone of white supremacy. Filner beat Popaditch by twenty percentage points in the 51st Congressional District race.

    Apparently, Popaditch has some white supremacist supporters – one of whom has posted a video about the incident and calls for “armed rebellion.”

    It has also come out that Popaditch supporters yelled anti-Semitic chants at Filner – who is Jewish – spit on him, and in general caused the most violence ever witnessed at Golden Hall in the aftermath of local elections.

    Dave Maass of San Diego CityBeat has been following this story and filed this report, along with new a new vid.

    As Maass points out, there is irony in the fact that Popaditch has Nazi-like supporters while being surrounded himself the night of the incident by Asian bodyguards.

    • avatarAndy Cohen says

      Absolutely fair to hold him accountable for who his supporters are. It tells us a lot about who he is and what type of person he appeals to. There is no doubt that the guy is a TEA Party whack job. And if he lost to Filner by 20 points, he’ll lose to Davis by 30.

  5. avatarLori says

    Andy, I remember the “Bob’s a bitch” chant (rhymes with Popaditch) very well and the spitting. Yes, he hangs out with white supremacists. I want to poke him in the good eye.

  6. avatarCraig Nelson says

    Since Obama won’t be challenged in Ca , what drives the Dems to the polls in Nov that didn’t this week?
    The pubic employee unions sure spent a lot of money against props A & B (and still got bi*** slapped) , did they not turn out and vote?
    I think Filner has been saving his A game for the finals , but assuming 2/3 of Fletchers peeps will go rougue seems a bit far fetched.

  7. avatarFrances O'Neill Zimmerman says

    It is less fun than remembering Loco Popaditch and reading wishful thoughts about blinding him forever, but let’s get back to the main point of this excellent story: Dems are strong and showing well. We can all get fired up for November. Bob Filner for Mayor.


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