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Big Night For Labor With Cole, Gonzalez Wins On City Council, State Assembly


Lorena Gonzalez, California Assemblymember-elect, representing the 80th Assembly District



Myrtle Cole, San Diego City Councilmember-elect, representing the 4th District


Tuesday was a big night for labor in San Diego, as Labor Council CEO Lorena Gonzalez handily won a seat on the state Assembly and the labor-backed candidate for San Diego City Council, Myrtle Cole, won with 53 percent of the vote.

Myrtle Cole won over Dwayne Crenshaw in the race to fill an empty seat on the San Diego City Council.

Special Feature Share Your Thoughts on District 4

What issues matter to you in the upcoming election for the San Diego City Council District 4? What questions do you have for the two City Council candidates?

Cole won with 710 more votes than her opponent Dwayne Crenshaw.

Labor coordinator and former police lieutenant Cole was unabashed in thanking all of the unions who backed her candidacy.

“My volunteers, my nurses, my teachers, my sanitation drivers, my firefighters, my police," she said. "All the people that walked for me, knocked on the door, called. Those are the people that got me here today. I stand on their shoulders. We’re in this together, that’s why they’re here.”

Cole ran against longtime community activist Crenshaw to represent southeast San Diego on the City Council. Former Council President Tony Young left the seat vacant in January after six years in office to become CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross.

Cole had the backing of Mayor Bob Filner, along with most of the area's Democratic office holders and labor organizations. She came out on top in the March primary election with 33 percent of the vote.

Crenshaw, who is on leave as executive director of San Diego Pride, was endorsed by environmental organizations, school district trustees and most of the other primary candidates.

In the 80th Assembly District, which includes the southern areas of San Diego County, Gonzalez won in a landslide with 72 percent of the vote against Chula Vista Councilman Steve Castaneda to replace Ben Hueso, who was elected to the state Senate.

Gonzalez told the crowd on election night that union leaders must run for office to ensure union interests are represented.

“All I promise you is that I will continue to wake up every day like I have for the last five thinking how can we create better jobs, more jobs,” she said.

Both elections fill the two remaining years in the terms for the two districts.

Young left office just after redistricting took effect, but state law required the 2010 District 4 boundary to be used to determine which candidate will be his successor because those voters elected the original candidate, according to the county Registrar of Voters office. The updated boundaries will be used in the 80th Assembly District race.

Voting results will be certified in the first week of June.


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Photo of Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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