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Lightner Wins; Dems Control SD Council

Sherri Lightner has beaten Ray Ellis, 53 percent to 47 percent, in San Diego City Council District 1. Win means Democrats retain their majority.

Photo credit: Spark Photography

San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner speaks with reporters at Golden Hall on November 6, 2012.

KPBS reporters tweeting on Election Day.

Council District 1 spans San Diego’s coast from La Jolla up to Torrey Pines and inland to Rancho Penasquitos.

The incumbent, Democrat Sherri Lightner, and her Republican challenger Ray Ellis have been engaged in a tight race since the June primary, when two other candidates were eliminated. Those candidates, Bryan Pease and Dennis Ridz, endorsed Lightner in the general election.

Ellis received more votes in the primary and is viewed as being part of a slate of candidates supported by City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Though unions tend to support Democrats, some unions actively campaigned against Lightner in the June primary.

During a KPBS debate in October, both candidates expressed similar positions on several issues impacting District 1. Both said they are against One Paseo, the massive development project proposed for Carmel Valley at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. Both are lukewarm about building a connector from State Route 56 to Interstate 5. Neither is enamored of a project to build a bridge across Rose Canyon.

But Ellis said a key difference between himself and Lightner is their positions on pension reform. He said he's been a fervent supporter of Proposition B, the pension reform initiative, from the start.

Lightner disagreed.

"Do we get rebuttal?" she said during the debate. "I'm actually the only one here who's done pension reform, and we started that when I first took office. And I have supported Proposition B and look forward to full implementation going forward."

The candidates also differ on Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama project to build a road around the Museum of Man leading to a new underground parking lot. Ellis has been a supporter from the first announcement. Lightner was the lone "no" vote on the City Council because of the included fee for parking.

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