Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Ray Ellis Drops Out Of District 1 San Diego City Council Race

Republican Ray Ellis and Democrat Barbara Bry are competing for the San Diego City Council District 1 seat.
Courtesy photos
Republican Ray Ellis and Democrat Barbara Bry are competing for the San Diego City Council District 1 seat.

Ray Ellis Drops Out Of District 1 San Diego City Council Race
Ray Ellis Drops Out Of District 1 San Diego City Council Race GUEST:Carl Luna, political science professor, San Diego Mesa College

Our top story months before election day we know the outcome of once San Diego city Council race. In a surprise move Ray Ellis has with drawn. He issued a statement saying I do not believe there is a viable path to victory in November election without a viable path I cannot in good faith ask supporters to finance another effort. This leaves Barbara Bry as the only remaining candidate. She says this about him dropping out. Ray congratulated me on running a good campaign and said that we share a lot of the same goals on policy issues for the city and the district. He said he would -- want to be helpful with the me and wishes me all the best. The race is nonpartisan but in his withdrawal statement, Ray Ellis says he believes many rely on party affiliation to cast their votes and believes that toxicity and divisiveness of the top of the ticket will get worse. I spoke with Carl Luna. Welcome to the program. Good to be on. Ray Ellis site some statistics. He says there was a 17 point swing in district 1 since 2012 in favor of Democrats in the June primary. What accounts for that shift the Part of the is shifting demographics. The Republican base is aging and as they age, they age out of the voting pool. Is also possibly the environment. Donald Trump maybe poisoning the well downstream. Is it possible that contest between Clinton and Sanders brought a lot of Democrats of in June? It probably helped to drive that. The question is how will they vote when it comes to Hillary Clinton in the fall? Ray Ellis looked at the numbers on the wall and they were not looking good for him. Barbara Bry was ahead of Allice -- Ray Ellis 15 points? How big of a problem was that for him? Back in 2012 he did much better in the primary and there was a big bump that he might be able to win in the general. Given the numbers it did not look good and probably looks worse now that you have all the problems at the top of the ticket. He says way strongly that he does not support Donald Trump and is concerned about the divisiveness of his campaign increasing. The question is how could the Trump campaign be influencing the race as far down ticket as this? That becomes the question. It is a fact that Ray Ellis is thing evidence to this. It could try the campaign in two ways. One while they're doing it -- also it could be that Ray Ellis to the calculation that by not supporting the top of the ticket Donald Trump he was going to repeat a lot of the -- making the registration worse. So between a rock and a hard place. Yes. Is this more of a problem for Republican candidates in California because they often struggled in this state. In San Diego, this was the best chance for the Republicans to take back the control of the city Council. You probably now have the Democratic majority of the Council. If he was running in the fall, this could have affected the mayor's race but it is not wait to be California. You have Congressman -- the local officials running across the country and don't forget all the state assembly districts state Senate districts across the country. If you lose -- at the Republican start to lose state legislature when it comes the next district, you'll get things a lot nicer for Democrats. This could have very interesting applications or a runoff. You said that this could made a permanent Democratic majority on the central city Council. Why? If you look at the growing demographics at the city, they are all breaking protect -- Democratic candidates. San Diego is becoming even more from just purple it is moving toward a shade of blue. There have been problems on the city Council. At this point, you have five districts, which look to lineup very strongly Democrats. I don't know see those -- unless there's some scandal IDO the that balance being shaken anytime soon, if ever. I've been speaking with Carl Luna. He is a professor political scientists. Thank you.

Republican Ray Ellis dropped out of the District 1 San Diego City Council race Friday. He was set to face Democrat Barbara Bry in a November runoff.

Ellis said he was dropping out of the race because most voters rely on political affiliation when voting in local elections, and Democrats have a significantly higher voter registration than Republicans in District 1.


He also cited what he expects to be a divisive presidential race as a reason for dropping out.

"As we look to November, I believe the toxicity and the divisiveness at the top of ticket will get worse. My values are important to me and I will not support presidential candidate Donald Trump," Ellis said in a statement.

He said he did not believe there was a way for him to beat Bry in November.

"Without a viable path, I cannot in good faith ask supporters to finance another effort," Ellis said.

This will allow the Democrats to maintain their 5-4 majority on the City Council.


Bry said Ellis' name will still appear on the ballot, so she's not going to stop campaigning.

"We want to use the next 90 days to learn more about the community, to communicate more with the residents of District 1 and hopefully have a positive outcome on Election Day," she said.

Ellis came in a distant second behind Bry in the June election.

District 1 includes Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City.