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Politics

Montgomery Steppe wins District 4 County Supervisor race

Voters in San Diego County's fourth supervisorial district have elected San Diego City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe to be their next supervisor, according to a race call from KPBS.

Early results in Tuesday's special election showed Montgomery Steppe with a significant lead over private investigator Amy Reichert.

District 4 covers parts of central San Diego as well as La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.

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Votes will continue to be counted in the coming weeks, with the Registrar of Voters releasing periodic updates. The final vote will be certified on Dec. 7.

Why it matters

County supervisors oversee important social welfare programs such as Calfresh and Medi-Cal, as well as the foster care system, the public health department and San Diego County jails. The current county budget totals $8.17 billion.

After decades of Republican control, Democrats won a majority on the Board of Supervisors in 2020. But since the resignation of former Supervisor Nathan Fletcher amid accusations of sexual harassment and assault — allegations he denies — the board has been split 2-2.

By the numbers

Montgomery Steppe, a Democrat, won the Aug. 15 primary with 41.7% of the vote. Reichert, a Republican, came in second with 28.8%. Turnout was 24.5%.

According to campaign finance disclosure forms, the two candidates had raised similar amounts of money from the start of the year through Oct. 21. Montgomery Steppe's campaign raised $267,292.54 in that time period compared to Reichert's $264,312.85.

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The bulk of campaign fundraising and spending, however, came from independent committees that are barred from coordinating with a candidate's official campaign.

Only a handful of those committees have supported Reichert, and their fundraising activity essentially halted after the primary. Montgomery Steppe is backed by a coalition of labor unions that raised $949,555.76 through Oct. 21.

Looking ahead

Official certification of the election can take weeks due to late-arriving mail ballots.

Whoever wins the election will serve out the remainder of Fletcher's four-year term, which began in January. A victory by Montgomery Steppe would create a vacancy on the San Diego City Council that would have to be filled by another special election.

The 2024 primary election is March 5. Find in-depth reporting on each race to help you understand what's on your ballot.