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Roundtable: Who Says Primary Politics In San Diego Is Boring?

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52nd Congressional: High-Profile Toss-up

The mostly coastal congressional district that stretches from Coronado to north of Poway is rated a “pure toss-up” by the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. Democratic incumbent Scott Peters and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio are widely expected to meet each other again in November's general election.

But California’s open primary system could produce surprises. The race for the 52nd has attracted a lot of money, with three of the four candidates raising more than $1 million each.

Funds have come in for the high-profile race from the Koch brothers through their Super PAC and from the Democratic National Committee. In November this stream of funds is expected to become a deluge.

Voter registration in the district is almost even between Republicans (33.8 percent) and Democrats (32.3 percent), with Independents at 28.7 percent.

Scott Peters won the district in 2012 by besting Brian Bilbray by 7,000 votes.

Props B & C

Commercials urging voters to vote no on San Diego City Propositions B and C say that “it’s just a bad plan” to put “people right next to an industrialized facility.”

The "bad plan" referred to is the Barrio Logan community update plan negotiated over a five-year period and costing millions. The plan is designed to prevent housing from being built next to the neighboring shipyards by creating a buffer zone between them.

A ”yes” vote affirms the community plan. If the “no” votes prevail, the city will have to re-do the plan update or wait a year and re-affirm it.

The petition drive to get B and C on the ballot was funded by the ship-building industry to the tune of $1 million plus and marked by allegations of deception. Opponents of the community plan have said it is the first step in eliminating the shipyards and the jobs that go with them. Proponents say that the buffer zone between heavy industry and homes is a public health necessity.

Horn v. Wood; Democracy v. Low Turnout

San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn, who has held his job in District 5 for two decades, is no stranger to controversial positions and inflammatory speech and has made a bunch of enemies in the last 20 years.

Things have gotten a bit more heated recently for Horn, who has been caught up in a scandal (uncovered by inewsource) over a charity he “bought.”

His opponent is Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, who has his own problems with inflammatory speech, commenting on women's appearances and calling them ”girls.” He recently dismissed his campaign manager because he uses a wheelchair.

It may turn out that enemies or no enemies, scandal or no scandal, conservatives like Bill Horn will benefit from a (possibly) very low voter turnout. Republicans and their causes have swept six of the last eight citywide elections with low voter turnout.

Even mail-in ballots are problematic this time. The San Diego County Registrar of Voters sent out 850,000 mail-in ballots for the June primary, but so far, only about 113,000 have been returned.

City Council Districts 2 And 6

Four San Diego City Council Districts are up for election, two of them — Districts 2 and 6 — without an incumbent running.

A former federal prosecutor (Sarah Boot), a current City Councilwoman (Lorie Zapf), a property manager (Jim Morrison) and an organic fertilizer marketer (Mark Schwartz) are going after Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s vacant District 2 seat.

With Lorie Zapf re-districted out of her current District 6, candidates for that seat are San Diego County Taxpayers Association Vice President Chris Cate; former SDUSD board member Mitz Lee; educator Carol Kim; and security guard De Le.

The Issues in these two districts are similar to those in the rest of the city. They include funds: funds for infrastructure, funds for public safety, funds for libraries and parks and funds for the convention center expansion. The building-height limit is an issue in District 2 as well.

The most important issue in these races may be whether the council will retain a veto-proof majority.

Any candidate with more than 50 percent of the vote, wins outright.

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