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Former Radio Host Hopes To Unseat Incumbent In City Council District 6 Race

San Diego City Council District 6 candidates Democrat Tommy Hough and Republi...

Credit: Tommy Hough and Chris Cate campaigns

Above: San Diego City Council District 6 candidates Democrat Tommy Hough and Republican Chris Cate are shown in this undated photo.

Former Radio Host Hopes To Unseat Incumbent In City Council District 6 Race

GUEST:

Claire Trageser, investigative reporter, KPBS News

Democrat Tommy Hough earned about 17 percent of the vote in the primary race against Chris Cate, the Republican incumbent councilman, in San Diego City Council District 6, which covers communities including Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley.

Hough is also far behind Cate in fundraising — Hough had about $4,860 in the bank as of Sept. 22, while Cate had about $151,320.

But Hough is not dissuaded and hopes to ride the predicted "blue wave" of support for Democratic candidates that is predicted for this November election. He points out that there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the district — 27,526 Democrats to 21,029 Republicans, with 25,501 independents as of Sept. 6, according to data from the San Diego City Clerk.

Hough is a former radio host for 91X, KPRI and FM 94/9. If elected, he said he'd focus on tackling the biggest issue in the district: roads. He said if he's elected and the Democrats on the City Council have a veto-proof 6-to-3 majority, they can allocate funding to help their districts.

"A lot of the councilmembers should be able to go and get funding first instead of the mayor picking his favorites," he said.

Cate has a new demanding constituent whose needs he's working to meet — he and his wife welcomed their first baby, a girl, in July. Cate said while he's been in office, he's focused on improving public safety, roads, neighborhood services and government accessibility. He said his biggest accomplishments have been in those areas, with increases to library hours, repaving 190 miles of streets, filling 12,000 potholes and saving two senior centers in Clairemont and Mira Mesa that were on the brink of shutting down.

If reelected, he said he'd continue to work on road and sidewalk repairs.

"There are a number of folks who haven't gotten their streets repaved yet, or their sidewalk replaced, and we want to make sure we get to those," he said. "With 3,000 miles of streets in the city, it takes time, but we should be doing a better job of providing street repairs for residents."

Here are where the candidates stand on a few of the other issues this election.

Rent Control

Hough: "We should consider it."

Hough said it would look different than in other cities such as New York and San Francisco. For example, it could only apply to areas built after a certain date.

Cate: "I'm opposed to it."

Community Choice Aggregation

Hough: "I'm very much in favor of it."

Cate: "I'm skeptical on it."

Cate said he's looking to see the feasibility study on the program, but "I have issues with city government taking on the energy business and buying and procuring electricity."

He said the city already has a difficult time providing basic services.

SoccerCity Memo

Hough continues to bring up the fact that Cate gave a memo written by the City Attorney's Office about the SoccerCity initiative to SoccerCity officials last year. San Diego’s Ethics Commission fined Cate the maximum penalty of $5,000 for the leak, but the state Attorney General declined to pursue criminal charges against him.

"That absolutely undermines the entire role of a public official, and I can't believe this guy is running for reelection as though nothing happened," Hough said.

Cate said he's already addressed the issue, and that if he had to do it again, he would do things differently and approach the City Attorney's office first.

Both Cate and Hough stress their commitment to improving District 6, and will continue to make their cases to voters before the Nov. 6 election.

Democrat Tommy Hough hopes to unseat Chris Cate, the Republican incumbent councilman, in San Diego City Council District 6, which covers communities including Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley.

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