Raul Campillo, Noli Zosa Likely Headed To November In City Council District 7 Race
UPDATE: 6:45 a.m., March 4, 2020
Democrat Raul Campillo and Republican Noli Zosa appear headed to face each other in a November runoff for the San Diego City Council District 7 seat.
With 350,000 ballots still to be counted countywide, Campillo had the most votes and Zosa had a few thousand more than Democrat Wendy Wheatcroft, who was in third place.
If the race is down to a Democrat and a Republican battling for the seat in November, it will likely be closely watched as a chance for Democrats to pick up an additional seat on the council. Termed out Councilman Scott Sherman is a Republican, and is running for mayor.
Three Democrats and one Republican are vying to represent San Diego City Council District 7, which includes the neighborhoods of Linda Vista, Mission Valley, Allied Gardens and Tierrasanta.
The top two vote-getters in Tuesday's primary will compete in November to replace termed-out Republican Councilman Scott Sherman.
Here are the main candidates: Democrat Raul Campillo, a deputy city attorney for the city of San Diego; Democrat Monty McIntyre, a lawyer and mediator; Republican Noli Zosa, a partner in the restaurant chain Dirty Birds; and Democrat Wendy Wheatcroft, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Three of them have made homelessness and housing among their top issues.
Campillo said he favors the approach the current council is taking toward housing affordability, including Council President Georgette Gomez's recent compromise on her inclusionary housing plan. Starting this summer, the city’s affordable housing regulations require builders to set aside at least 10 percent of new units for low-income renters.
Campillo also said he would push the San Diego River Conservancy Board to invest in technology to improve the health of the river and the surrounding environment.
Zosa said city leaders must better understand what homeless people are going through before deciding what they need.
"Really treating people as individuals and not data," he said. "Just providing a house or feeding them is not enough. There's mental issues, there's substance abuse issues, there are so many different reasons people are homeless and to offer one solution is not going to solve the problem."
He also wants to build a dog park near the baseball fields at Lake Murray.
Wheatcroft said city leaders have to think big if they actually want to make a dent in the problem.
"I have a three-point plan for this," she said. "We have a lot of vacant units throughout San Diego that really need to be brought to market. This includes AirBnBs and vacant units possibly owned by investors. Secondly, we need sweeping regulatory land-use reform so we can change the zoning in neighborhoods to allow us to build more housing. And thirdly, I want us to explore the concept of social housing."
Wheatcroft also said Linda Vista needs more grocery stores and Tierrasanta needs better access to transit.
Meanwhile, McIntyre said City Hall is broken and city leaders "must make our decision-making process better."
He said he would do that by using "critical analysis."
"First we need to get all the facts," he said. "Then we need to figure out if there are any best practices anyone has developed."
Next, the city needs to get all relevant expert opinions and then analyze the options to come up with the best answer, he said.
McIntyre said he would also work with large employers like Qualcomm and local universities to create new mortgage and financing options to help make housing more affordable for their employees.
As of the beginning of January, there were 39.8% registered Democrats in the district, 26.3% registered Republicans and 27.4% not affiliated with any party.