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CITY HEIGHTS.jpg
Roland Lizarondo
The County Registrar of Voters opened a voter center at the City Heights Recreation Center. Pictured here on October 28, 2022.

Mail-in ballots constitute 90% of San Diego County's certified election results

Following a month of ballot counting, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters today certified the results of the Nov. 8, 2022 election with a voter participation rate of 54.2%.

Of 1.9 million registered voters in the county, 1,043,490 ballots were cast. Of those, 939,102 were mail-in ballots — nearly 90% of the total.

In statewide offices, the county voted a straight "blue" ticket, selecting Democrats for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general, senator, state superintendent and insurance commissioner.

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San Diego voters rejected two state propositions focused on allowing gambling in the state, as well as declining ones which would have required stricter licensing for the state's dialysis clinics and taxing high-earners to pay for wildfire prevention and air pollution.

Congressionally, Democrats Mike Levin, Scott Peters, Sara Jacobs and Juan Vargas won in the 49th, 50th, 51st and 52nd Congressional districts, respectively. Republican Darrell Issa claimed the 48th Congressional District.

Former Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear won her bid for the state's 38th Senate District, while incumbent Brian Jones held onto his seat in the 40th.

Incumbents held onto their seats for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, with Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisorial District 5 representative Jim Desmond cruising to big victories.

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Republican Jordan Marks won a race over former San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry by around 27,000 votes of nearly 900,000 cast to become the next Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, while Kelly Anne Martinez bested opponent John Hemmerling by 17 points in the race for San Diego County Sheriff. Martinez will take over from the retiring Bill Gore — who served in the role since 2009.

Martinez says she will invest in hiring additional medical staff and mental health professionals for the county's jails, as well as the implementation of a body-worn camera footage program. In a statement on her campaign site, she said, "For too long, the jails have not been prioritized with appropriate health care and much needed renovations that will make them safer for incarcerated individuals and staff."

In Carlsbad, Keith Blackburn beat out Michael Curtin to become mayor, while Melanie Burkholder won a crowded City Council District 1 race by fewer than 400 votes.

City Councilman John McCann bested activist Ammar Campa-Najjar to become Chula Vista's new mayor by a little over 2,500 votes with more than 35,000 cast.

"Chula Vista is my hometown. In this challenging economy, we need leaders who will put public safety, jobs, economic development and reform at the top of the city's agenda," he said. "Protecting taxpayers, prioritizing public safety, and concentrating on neighborhood quality-of-life issues are key to service on the council, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue working for an even stronger Chula Vista."

The late Simon Silva, who died during the election following a long battle with cancer, won the Chula Vista City Attorney position by fewer than 1,000 votes. As a result, the City Council will have to declare the city attorney seat vacant and hold a special election, which could cost the city up to $2 million.

In La Mesa, the tight race for the city's open City Council position had three candidates with 23% of the vote, with Patricia Dillard beating Laura Lothian and Mejgan Afshan with 8,600 votes to their 8,414 and 8,403, respectively.

In the South Bay, the race for National City Mayor came down to just 68 votes between winner Ron Morrison with 3,383 votes and second-place finisher Jose Rodriguez with 3,315. Incumbent Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis finished a "distant" third with 2,499 votes.

Incumbents romped in the San Diego City Council races, with Jennifer Campbell, Monica Montgomery Steppe and Vivian Moreno cruising to large victories.

In the open District 6 position, nonprofit director Kent Lee and environmental activist Tommy Hough squared off in a bid to replace termed-out Councilman Chris Cate — the only Republican currently on the San Diego City Council. Lee won in a healthy 11-point margin.

"We did it," he wrote. "Our District 6 communities have spoken and I'm so humbled and grateful to have earned the trust and support of so many of our neighbors. I am especially excited to continue my work on behalf of all of our communities as your next City Council member."

Cate, for his part, said he was concerned the now fully Democrat council would lose important viewpoints and might fall prey to partisanship. City Council races, like all municipal races in California, are ostensibly nonpartisan.

The city's Measures proved close, as San Diego voters narrowly passed a measure which would allow the City Council to charge a fee for solid waste pickup. Measure B, which passed by fewer than 4,000 votes out of more than 400,000 cast, does not institute a fee on its own, but merely repeals prohibitions to do so in the 100-year-old "People's Ordinance."

Supporters say the measure would end a system that allowed a benefit for certain residents, while those living in apartments or condos have to pay for private haulers. According to the ballot argument in support of the measure, it would "fix this broken and unfair system so San Diego can start delivering better services for all of us, like bulky item pickup and free replacement of broken trash bins."

In another tight race, San Diegans approved Measure C, allowing development in the Midway area, which would surpass the city's longstanding 30- foot height limit in coastal areas. This measure could allow for development of a new Sports Arena property in Midway.

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