Friday, August 26, 2011
Political Maneuveruing Begins As New S.D. Districts Finalized
SAN DIEGO A day after the new city council district map was approved, Councilwoman Marti Emerald announced she’ll run for the new ninth district. That leaves her current seventh-district seat up for grabs. Political Scientist Carl Luna said Emerald has a better shot in the more Democratic ninth district versus the seventh, where she faced a strong challenge last election.
He said this new map could balance out the city council, potentially giving it five Democrats and four Republicans, which would be a good shift for the GOP.
“They could have a good chance of picking up the seventh district, with the Democrats holding onto the new ninth district,” he said. “But dealing more likely with a Republican mayor, it would be to their advantage to have more Republicans on the council.”
Luna said a shift toward the right is a bit counterintuitive since the number of registered Democrats in the city is increasing. District 7 is not the only one seeing change. Luna said Councilman Todd Gloria might face a tougher race in the reformed third district, which lost City Heights and gained Downtown, among other changes.
“Depending on who runs against him, that could be a more problematic seat. But I think he’s still in a relatively strong position,” Luna said.
Councilmember Lorie Zapf will also have to make a choice in the future. She has been drawn out of the sixth district, which she currently represents. When her current term ends in 2014 she'll have to decide whether to move back into the sixth district or run for a seat in the second.
The newly drawn district lines will go into effect in about a month if they are not challenged. Council President Tony Young has said that until a ninth council representative is elected, councilmembers should continue to represent their current areas, even if a neighborhood is technically no longer in their district. But an opinion from the city attorney said legally the district boundaries will not change until December 2012, when a new councilmember is sworn into office.