One of the downsides of having a top two campaign system as we do in the City of San Diego is having a primary political contest repeat itself in the general election.
With the (soon to be announced) withdrawal of Democrat Fayaz Nawabli from the District 6 City Council race, it’s a virtual certainty incumbent Republican Chris Cate will face Democrat Tommy Hough in both June and November.
No Political Preference candidates Jeremiah Blattler, Kevin Egger and Democrat Matt Valenti have qualified for the ballot, but don’t appear to have much momentum. Or money.
Nawabi was making an impact as a candidate, with both endorsements and fundraising prowess. He is a really nice guy who’s proven himself to be selfless in community and activist circles. Unfortunately, he has a health issue, so he’s dropping out.
District 6 includes the neighborhoods of Clairemont Mesa East/West, Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Sorrento Valley. It appears to be the most car-centric of the Council Districts.
There is talk of creating a second Little Italy-type area with the update of the Kearny Mesa Community Plan, which represents a serious increase in density. Currently, more people work in the area than live there.
Politically speaking, D6 is considered a swing district. Republican candidate Chris Cate won the district by nearly seven points in 2014, beating out Carol Kim, who’s gone on to become a real force in the local labor movement.
The district has the largest bloc of Asian-Americans in the city, and the lines drawn in the redistricting following the 2010 census give a nod to their emerging political power in the area.
Republicans are taking no chances in 2018. There is an Independent Expenditure committee that has amassed $300,000 from the Chamber of Commerce PAC and the Lincoln Club in support of Cate’s candidacy.
The need to improve area infrastructure and concerns about future development are the bread and butter issues facing D6 voters in 2018.
Incumbent Councilman Chris Cate’s involvement in leaking a memo to the would-be developers of the football stadium site gained him a lot of negative press, but an investigation by the State Attorney General appears to be going nowhere. He’s already paid a $5000 fine to the City Ethics Commission, and the State is involved because interim County DA Summer Stephan kicked the case upstairs rather than risk any negative optics.
Cate is also the Energizer Bunny of Councilcritters when it comes to making appearances in his district, averaging nearly two a day.
Democratic challenger Tommy Hough is running as a political outsider and likes to point out he’s not a creature of city hall, not wealthy or powerful. His track record in working for environmental causes gives him decent name recognition.
Following are profiles of the major candidates for District 6 City Council in the June 5 primary.
- Incumbent Republican, formerly Vice President of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, currently under investigation by the state attorney general’s office regarding a confidential city attorney opinion leaked to lobbyists for SoccerCity.
- KPBS biographical article. Wikipedia biography. Ballotpedia biography.
- Endorsments include County GOP, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Quote on short-term rentals:
Point in fact, over the past three years, annual revenues from short-term rentals has increased from $7 million to over $18 million. The share of total tourist tax revenues coming from short-term rentals has increased from 4 percent to 8 percent.
In light of these numbers, it is evident short-term rentals are not going away in San Diego. Banning this type of use hasn’t worked in other cities and it won’t work here either. I believe it is in the best interest of San Diegans to allow this type of use. That being said, we need to provide a clear set of rules for this use, allow for the easy collection of applicable tax revenues while strongly holding homeowners and renters accountable thereby sending the message that San Diego will not tolerate “bad actors.”
- My Comment: Cate is considered a rising star in the local GOP. Incumbents are hard to beat unless they get indicted.
- 2017 Fundraising: $326,976.
- Plus $20,000 for Communities for Better Tomorrow by Chris Cate, donated by Allen Camasia of StemImmune, a company subject to FDA enforcement actions for producing unauthorized stem cell treatments.
- Democrat, popular dj on progressive rock stations for many years, co-founder of the San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.
- Endorsements include: Democrats for Environmental Action, Point Loma / Ocean Beach Democratic Club, Rancho Bernardo Democratic Club, San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club.
- Also endorsed by Working Families Council, several well-known progressives withdrew their endorsements.
- Money quote: I’m not a rubber stamp for developers, and I will never betray the business of the people of San Diego to Downtown developers or moneyed special interests.
- Issues Page
- My Take: Popular with both activist and traditional Democrats. He’s paid a lot of dues over the years. He will also be on the November ballot.
- 2017 Fundraising: $13,637
Postscript: Nawabi spent the weekend returning campaign contributions, which I’m told could have been passed on to Hough, if not for the Working Families Council endorsement.
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