A week or so after the November 6th election, we can now decipher a more whole picture of how San Diego County voted – and look at the results of those races where candidates were endorsed by the San Diego Labor Council* and/ or the Democratic Party. (In most cases, candidates were endorsed by both organizations, but not all.) And we also can see just how extensive Barack Obama’s coattails were.
Just who were the winners and losers down the ballot – the lesser knowns running in those smaller cities and school boards scattered across this huge county? Skipping those state-wide races, and focusing on whom the voters in this County elected, we first take a gander at the contests of the other cities.
(Note: in many of these smaller cities, council members are selected by being among the several top candidates who receive the most votes. Unless otherwise noted, the races refer to city councils.)
Chula Vista – Both candidates endorsed by Labor and the Dems won handily: Pamela Bensoussan with 60% of the vote and Mary Salas with 58%.
Coronado – Casey Tanaka, endorsed by the Democratic Party for mayor, won in a landslide with 70%.
Del Mar – The D.P. backed candidates for this city’s council both won: Sherryl Parks and Don Mosier, an incumbent.
El Cajon – Ben Kalasho – endorsed by both Labor and the Dems – was not elected, finishing fourth.
Encinitas – Tony Kranz and Lisa Shaffer were both championed by the Party and both won. Jerome Stocks, a GOP’er, longtime councilman and current mayor, came in fourth. Stocks was viewed by some as divisive, arrogant, and gave credence to the fact that local voters were not just voting in a more balanced council but voting out an extremely condescending politico.
Escondido – Olga Diaz won her seat again with 24% of the total vote.
La Mesa – Patrick Dean, propped by Dems and Labor, came in 4th place with only 15%.
Imperial Beach – One candidate of the two who were endorsed, won: Bobby Patton with 34.8%; Jim King, the incumbent – also endorsed, lost his seat with only 18.7%. Of some interest is the fact that just-defeated Congressman Brian Bilbray had a son who was re-elected to the city council, Brian Pat, with almost 20%.
Lemon Grove – Both Racquel Vasquez and George Gastil, an incumbent, were endorsed and both won. Vasquez with 29.3% and Gastil with 23.2%. Gastil spoke at a labor-sponsored rally last February and also managed Dr. Shirley Weber’s successful campaign for the 79th State Assembly seat.
National City – Endorsed Alejandra Sotelo-Solis won her seat back with a whopping 40%.
Oceanside Mayor – Jim Wood, endorsed by the Labor Council, won with 54.4% of the vote. Jerry Kern lost badly – and good riddance, it seems. A business-friendly former head of the local Chamber of Commerce, Kern was seen as “the de factor leader of the fractious Oceanside city council’s conservative wing”, who “champions outsourcing as a way to save money and is a harsh critic of rent control in the city’s mobile-home parks,” observed Tom Arnold at North County Times.
Oceanside – Both Labor and Dems endorsed Esther Sanchez for the council and she was re-elected with just over 27%.
Santee Mayor– Activist Rudy Reyes – endorsed by the Dems – failed in his bid.
Solana Beach – Three candidates all were endorsed and all won their seats on the council: Lesa Heebner, an incumbent, Peter Zahn, and David Zito.
Vista – Cody Campbell was endorsed by the Dems and Labor and won a seat with 17.7% of the vote.
School and Educational Districts
San Diego County Board of Education – The victor – Gregg Robinson – was endorsed by both Labor and the Democratic Party; Robinson was able to remove John Witt (finally) who has been on some school board or another for decades, 53.4% to 44.6%. Robinson used to contribute to the sister publication, the OB Rag, and is a sociology professor at Grossmont College.
San Diego Community College – Bernie Rhinerson had been endorsed by the D.P. and labor; he won with two-thirds of the vote.
Mira Costa Community College Board – Jacqueline Simon, an incumbent and endorsed by both groups, was re-elected with 57.5% of the vote for Seat 3. George McNeil, endorsed by the Dems only, failed in his bid for Seat 5.
Palomar Community College Board – Nancy Chadwick, an incumbent, John Halcon, and Nancy Ann Hensch were all elected. Roberto Roderiquez was not. Only Halcon had the endorsement of both organizations, whereas Chadwick was by the Party only, and Hensch by labor only. Roderiquez was supported only by the D’s.
Southwestern Community College Board -Both endorsed candidates won their seats on the Board: William Stewart with 60.6% and Humberto Peraza with 56.9%.
Carlsbad Unified School Board – Incumbent Kelli Moors won with 35%.
Chula Vista Elementary School Board – Glendora Tremper was re-elected with 39%.
Coronado Unified School Bd – Scott Barr did not make it – he was endorsed by both groups.
Escondido Union Elem. School Bd. – Both Labor and Dems endorsed Jose Fragozo who won with a huge margin of 61.7%. Both groups had also endorsed Virginia Lopez who was not elected.
Grossmont Union High School Bd. – Dem and labor both endorsed Zach Miller but he was defeated.
La Mesa Spring Valley Elem. School – Both groups supported Jay Steiger, but he didn’t make it. Moderate Republican Bill Baber won re-election. Baber refused to abide by the tea party mantra about taking kids out of school that day the President addressed all the students across the nation, a few years ago, and has been known to be plainly bipartisan.
Poway Unified School Board – Kimberly Beatty won her first election; she was endorsed by the Democratic Party and the Labor Council. Beatty also has written for the SD Free Press.
Solana Beach Elem. School Bd. – Rich Leib won with 38.7%, being supported by the Dems.
South Bay Union Elem. School Dist.– Both Barbara Elliot-Sanders and Nick Inzuna were embraced by labor and the party and both won – Inzuna with 30.6%.
South Bay Union School District – Cheryl Quinones was elected with 35.6%.
Sweetwater Union High School Dist. – Bertha Lopez also had received the backing of the unions and party, and went on to victory with 55% of the vote.
Vista Unified School Dist. – Richard Alderson won with over 54% of the ballots.
California State Senate
District 39 – Democrat Marty Block swamped GOP’er George Plescia, 58% to 42%.
California State Assembly
District 71 – Pat Hurley, the Dem, was swamped by Brian Jones, the Republican Christian right incumbent.
District 75 – Matthew Herold, endorsed by labor, the DP, and CityBeat lost out to Marie Waldron, 37% to 63%. CityBeat called Waldron “the worst human being on the ballot”.
District 76 – Neither the Dems nor labor made an endorsement in this district, but San Diego CityBeat did as they supported Rocky Chavez, a Republican, who beat out another Republican Sherry Hodges, a candidate of the tea party. Chavez has been seen as dedicated to bipartisanship on issues related to the arts, the homeless, veterans, and climate change.
District 77 – Ruben Hernandez lost to Brian Maienschein, the better-known candidate as a former San Diego City Councilmember. Hernandez had been endorsed by the Dems and Labor.
District 78 – Toni Atkins, of course, won over Ralph Denny, 62% to 38%
District 79 – Dr. Shirley Weber bested Mary England, 60% to 40%.
District 80 – Ben Hueso sailed to victory with 68% of the vote, whereas Republican Derrick Roach had 32%.
* We know the Labor Council is officially known as the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO.