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KPBS Midday Edition Special: San Diego's 2022 Primary Election

 May 31, 2022 at 4:21 PM PDT

S1: An election special to help make voting easier.
S2: So what we do here is we want to remove barriers to the voting process.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. We'll hear about the candidates running for governor.
S3: This is Newsome's race to win. He'll win it in a walk. The only question will be who he defeats in the fall.
S1: Plus , we look at who's running for attorney general and talk about candidates in some of the key races locally. That's ahead on Midday Edition. This year's primary election is upon us. June 7th is just one week away , and KPBS has tried to make understanding the election easier with the KPBS Voter Hub. The Web page can help you find out where you can vote , how to drop off your mail ballot , or even look over your ballot available in both English and Spanish. The KPBS voter hub can be found at KPBS. Jorge's Voter Hub. But another information hub on the ins and outs of this election is San Diego County's registrar of voters , Cynthia Paz. She joined us to talk about the county's transition from polling places to vote centers and much more. Cynthia , welcome back to Late Edition.
S2: Thank you.
S1: In your time as registrar , you've overseen a transition in how elections are run , moving from traditional polling places to vote centers.
S2: So we had the luxury of introducing this to voters prior to the full transition to the vote center model. But during the 2020 March primary election was the last time we conducted an election under the traditional polling place model , and voters had to go to their assigned location to vote in person on that one day. We have transition now to having 200 plus locations open across the county , but they're open for multiple days. We have select two locations , open for 11 total days of voting and over 200 for this election. 218 locations will be open for four full days of in-person voting. So there is that transition to where we will have less locations , but they will be open for more days and provide more services. And voters can go to any voter center in the county and vote.
S1: You know , the events of January six , 2021 made clear to many how fragile our democracy is.
S2: So where we're confident in our elections here in San Diego County , we've had many years of successful , open , fair elections with full transparency. So we have election observers that come in every election cycle and observe every aspect of process in ballots and the election process. We have observers from the Republican Party , the Democratic Party , elections , integrity type advocacy groups. So we we're already very comfortable with with open hair elections and transparency from the public. And we continue to have confidence in our elections. We have procedures in place to safeguard the election. We have strict chain of custody requirements. We test all of our equipment before the election , and we do 1% manual audits after the election where we're verifying the accuracy of our voting equipment against an actual manual tally of a percent of the ballots. So we just move forward with the work we do , the excellent work we do here.
S2: So when they want to get the real accurate information , factual information about how elections are conducted in our county , they really need to go to the source. And that's us. That's the registrar of voters. That's elections officials. And it's the secretary of state. So trying to build out a more information rich environment and just increase our ability to get factual information about the elections in the hands of voters.
S1: That's San Diego County registrar of voters Cynthia Paz. We'll hear more from her later in the show. Cynthia , thanks.
S2: Thank you.
S4: There are a lot of people running for governor in California's June primary. 26 candidates are listed on the ballot. So many that frontrunner , incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom , is a bit difficult to find. Even so , Newsom is expected to win this primary easily after sailing to victory in a recall challenge only last September. So election watchers say the only real contest in the gubernatorial primary is who's going to come in second and challenge Newsom in the general election in November. The San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed a number of candidates for governor on the major issues , and Matt Hall of the paper's editorial board joins me now. Matt , welcome to the program.
S3: Thanks for having me , Maureen.
S4: Now , of the more than 20 candidates , you chose to interview only six in addition to Governor Newsom.
S3: Money means message in a statewide race like California , which is so huge. And there's 40 million people and nearly half that many who are registered to vote. So we set the cutoff at 80,000 and there were about eight people north of that mark with Gavin leading the way , Governor Newsom , at about almost $10 million and his opponents aren't even close. Brian is in second with 1.6 million. So that shows you the leg up that the incumbent has in the state.
S4: Newsom has no Democratic competition.
S3: So there are 26 candidates on the ballot. There are 13 Republicans , three Dems , including Newsom and a couple of far lesser known candidates from his party , two Green candidates and seven no party preference candidates. So the vast majority are either in the GOP or people who are independent.
S4: Well , you mentioned Republican State Senator Brian Dahl. He is the fundraising front runner amid the challengers.
S3: And Senator Dal Brian is really driving those issues home. He's also , of course , criticizing Newsom for his approach to the pandemic and the Eddie scandal that people will recall. And as I said , some of the cost of living stuff. But a lot of these issues , as you mentioned , we were all talking about a year ago when we had a recall election that Newsom sailed through. So it's really hard to have to do this twice for voters. You could tell that the Republican Party , by the dearth of serious candidates , didn't really have the heart set into this election. So you hit the nail on the head. This is Newsom's race to win. He'll win it in a walk. The only question will be who he defeats in the fall.
S4: Now let's talk about Republican businesswoman Jennifer de la Rue , who you mentioned.
S3: And people will recall. San Diego's mayor , ex-Mayor Kevin Faulconer , was one of the people on the ballot. Jenny de la Rue was on the ballot. She had 0.2% of the vote , which tells you she had a tough time standing out from a crowd last year. And so she may face an uphill climb this time around. To name a name it means so much to in a race like this. And in the recall , she got about half the votes that Angela got. People will really remember Angelina as being the person who's been on a billboard in Los Angeles and is one of those Californians who is known by a single name. So Jenny de la Rue has a really uphill battle.
S4: There are similar themes , though , among the Republican candidates who are challenging Newsom , and they tend to be critical of Newsom's COVID response. They dislike Housing First policies. They're pushing forest management as a response to climate change. And they also have a lot to say about parent input in public education.
S3: These are obviously complicated issues. And the thing about Newsom is that his understanding and comprehension and articulation of the issues is really top notch. We were critical of him. And , you know , she clearly he's the best of the bunch here. But his grasp on these issues , you know , kind of puts his opponents and his challengers really to shame. But their their policies are different. You know , they see this all the money that California is sitting on , on nearly $100 million surplus. And they say , how can you be spending all this money on homelessness ? And the problem keeps getting worse ? How can crime keep taking up especially violent crime in California ? And then as we talked about housing and Newsom was elected four years ago saying that we need 500,000 houses built each year over the course of seven years to kind of get California where it needs to be. And we haven't built or permitted anything close to that. So they are also highly critical of him on housing affordability and housing and. Struction.
S4: Well , as you say , Governor Newsom is a very polished politician.
S3: And the here I'm talking obviously about Roe v Wade and abortion and shootings. I think in the last month there have been so many shootings and some horrific ones in Buffalo and Orange County and of course , the one in Texas at the elementary school. So I think Newsom's playbook is really pushing back prominently on the GOP. I think he saw a lane for him to really criticize the National Party and some of its politics and positions in a way that other prominent Democrats on a national stage weren't. So I think he you know , I don't know if he's looking past his governor's race to some other election in the future. But his the way that he's handling this race , you know , shows that he's pretty confident that he's going to be governor in 2023.
S4: Finally , you know , despite the large number of candidates for governor , there's one that many San Diegans expected to see to challenge Newsom. And he's not there.
S3: I mean , he ran the recall thinking that he had a shot and he wasn't even close. I got off memory here , which is always dangerous , but I think he got less than 600,000 votes and Larry Elder got 3.5 million. So , you know , the Republican Party in California and the voters who looked to an alternative to Newsom weren't Kevin Faulconer , his kind of supporters. Kevin is more of a moderate politician. Larry Elder was more of a firebrand who had some far right positions. And that message resonated with voters on the Republican side a year ago. And so Kevin Faulconer really got embarrassed. I mean , he wasn't even 32nd , right ? There was a Democrat , a YouTuber , Kevin Paffrath , who got more votes than the mayor of the former mayor of San Diego. So I think Kevin's by licking his wounds and you could tell the fact that he's not in this race that he didn't see another path to the governor's office.
S4: I've been speaking with Matt Hall , who was on the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board. Matt , thank you so much for speaking with us.
S3: Thank you , Maureen. Appreciate it.
S4: Voting in the primary election is already underway and ends on June 7th. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. Just as in the governor's race we spoke about earlier , the bet in political circles is that California's attorney general primary is also a race for second place. But Attorney General Rob Bonta faces three candidates who have the potential to be serious challengers. They are Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. Nathan Hochman , a former assistant U.S. attorney and Los Angeles lawyer , Eric Earley. Joining me with more on the candidates and the attorney general's race is reporter Marisa Lagos with KQED , California Politics and Government Desk. Marissa , welcome to the program.
S5: Thanks so much for having me.
S5: This was part of a number of shuffling , as we saw at the state level after Joe Biden was elected president. He tapped the attorney general at the time , Xavier Becerra , to come to D.C. and be in his administration. And Rob Bonta was appointed by Governor Newsom. Bonta was a longtime assembly member representing Oakland , a district that actually his wife now holds. And he was a pretty , I think , sort of good vote for the Democratic Party , a liberal Democrat , really part of the establishment here in California.
S3: My values and my priorities as a legislator continue to be my values and my priorities as a as attorney general. That includes criminal justice reform , keeping our communities and neighborhoods safe , as we always seek to be more fair and more just housing , protecting our tenants , creating more housing throughout the state of California and many other areas.
S4: Bounties presumed to have a major advantage in this primary. And is that just because he is the incumbent ? Yeah.
S5: And also just because of his place , you know , he doesn't have great name ID , but I think better than most of the other candidates because he's been in office for a while. I mean , he really sort of fits with the profile of the electorate here. We have a very deep blue state. There's roughly the same number of no party preference voters as there are Republicans. And so in most races , you're going to see sort of a Democratic advantage when we talk about statewide. And Bonta is no , you know , no different than any of those other ones.
S4: Bonta has been a big supporter of criminal justice reform , and uneasiness about those reforms seems to be what his challengers are hoping to tap , especially Anne Marie Schubert.
S2: Why do I want this job ? Because it's all I've ever done , and I believe very much in public safety and victims rights. I've watched the demise of public safety around California. I'm going to step into this role to help lead the state back to a balanced public safety system.
S4: Tell us about her.
S5: Yeah , she is the long time D.A. up in Sacramento County. She was a Republican. But a few years ago , she switched to become no party preference , which is a bit of a gamble in a race like this. Right. Because she won't have that are next to her name. But she is definitely running a more law and order campaign. She's gotten support from the biggest statewide police organization and she does attack Bonta quite a bit on things like Proposition 47. That's that 2014 ballot measure that made a lot of drug possession charges , misdemeanors , and also raised the threshold for charging felonies in shoplifting cases. And so I would say that , you know , she really is running on a more traditional law and order approach , although like all of the candidates in this race , I really been struck , Maureen , by how the conversation shifted. Even the Republicans are really talking about , you know , a little bit harsher criminal justice , but in conjunction with things like rehabilitation , which just wasn't the message 20 years ago.
S4: That's also true with Nathan Hochman. He is the Republican Party's endorsed candidate in this race and he is pledging sort of a nonpartisan approach and a moderate approach to being attorney general.
S5: Yeah , when I spoke with him , he said , I want to go to the hard middle , which is a new one for me.
S3: My message is bipartisan. It's common sense. It's pragmatic. It's what if you were sitting around trying to figure out the solutions to these problems most people would come up with. And that's where I want to go , the hard middle.
S5: He's got a really varied background. He was a U.S. attorney , a private defense lawyer. He's done both blue collar , white collar cases , criminal and non. And he says that that kind of breadth of experience is really important. And he is certainly , I think , sort of presenting himself as a more moderate California Republican , not lining up with Trump , you know , saying that he would defend the state's pro-choice , you know , pro abortion laws and trying to kind of carve out a space for himself between Anne Marie Schubert and the other candidate , Eric Earley.
S5: I think that he is seeing sort of , you know , folks who might be turned off more by the Trump kind of type of Republican rhetoric are lining up. He. Kind him. But I think that's the challenge here. Maureen is like all of these folks need to really break out in a crowded field and in a time when , quite frankly , a lot of voters may not be paying attention to these other ballot measure , you know , things on the ballot that aren't maybe the top of mind for for a lot of people.
S4: And then there's L.A. lawyer Eric Earley. He's also a Republican.
S5: You know , he has a Friday night talk show on Los Angeles , as AM station , KABC. He is an unapologetic supporter of the former president. You know , he says without evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. He also ran against Adam Schiff in 2020 and lost by over 55 points. And so early , I think is really going for that Trump base of the party.
S3: I brought what is now widely recognized as the first lawsuit in the country against what is now publicly known as critical race theory.
S5: And , you know , that's not the majority necessarily. But in this kind of three way race where these three folks are competing for arguably a lot of non-democratic votes , there could be a path for someone like Earley and certainly Rob Bonds's folks hope so. People supporting labor groups and others who support Rob Bonta have put , I think , some $2 million into independent expenditures that are basically aimed at propping up early because they see him as the easiest candidate to beat in November.
S4: They want to run against him.
S5: They want to run against the Trumper in California , for sure. Okay.
S4: Okay. So polls are showing that the increase in crime is one of voters top concerns this election cycle.
S5: I mean , and I think that's why we're seeing this money spent by Bonta allies , which is that Schubert in particular would be a very tough challenger for him. She is no party preference. She's openly gay. She has prosecuted some really high profile cases like the Golden State killer. And because she doesn't have an R next to her name. She might be a more sort of attractive candidate to not just no party preference voters , but , you know , maybe Democrats who are a little bit turned off by some of the way the state has been going. I will , though , caution this all by saying we have no idea what's going to be the top issue by November. I mean , you know , just in the past of the past few weeks and months , we've seen the draft Roe decision out of the Supreme Court , the shooting in Texas , inflation worries. And so I do think that , you know , this campaign could go in a lot of directions. And Bonta is certainly hoping to face someone like early , but it'll be a race either way.
S4: I've been speaking with reporter Marisa Vargas. She's with KQED , California Politics and Government Desk. Marisa , thank you so much.
S5: My pleasure.
S4: San Diego County hasn't had a new sheriff in over a decade , but that's changing now as voters choose the replacement for retired Sheriff Bill Gore. And there is an update at the end of this report on a controversy surrounding one of the candidates. But first , KPBS reporter Claire TRAGESER introduces us to the people running for San Diego sheriff.
S5: There are seven people running for sheriff. KPBS reached out to all of them and heard back from three. We caught up with those three on the campaign trail.
S6: I'm John Kimberlin. I am a 30 year plus public servant. I between my time in the Marine Corps , my time at the state police department and my time at the city attorney's office as the chief criminal prosecutor.
S7: I'm Kelly Martinez. I've been with the sheriff's department for 37 years. I've worked my way up through the ranks and I'm currently the undersheriff. I run the day to day operations of the department.
S3: My name is Dave Myers and I am running for San Diego County sheriff. Born and raised here in San Diego , I spent 35 years in law enforcement. I've worked my way up through the sheriff's department to commander.
S5: We asked the candidates what they thought was the biggest issue facing the sheriff's department. John Hammersley says it's the high number of deaths in San Diego jails. A state audit says the department should require mental health screenings at intake and more interaction between nurses and inmates , among other changes.
S6: Some of the best practices from the state board as well that can be looked at. There are some best practices from the national boards as well that we're going to take a look at.
S5: Kelly Martinez says it's hiring more staff , which leads to better care in jails.
S7: We lost a lot of people in the last couple of years. So we have we need to hire about 400 people , both nurses and deputies. And then once , you know , the hiring is so key because all of the other things hinge on having enough staff.
S5: Dave Myers says the biggest issue is restoring trust in the department.
S3: That this current status quo is not going to stop jail deaths , that the status quo in sheriff's leadership now is not going to address racial bias and police.
S5: Hemorrhaging is an assistant city attorney in San Diego. He says his leadership experience makes him most qualified for the job.
S6: I spent almost a decade as a police officer working. Most of that time was in City Heights , where I worked a beat there in City Heights. I left there as a field training officer. I then went to law school while I was working at the Sanford Police Department , working my my beat to get me to become a better , better person for the community , a better person for myself.
S5: Martinez , currently the undersheriff for the department , says she has direct experience leading the department.
S7: And nobody knows the sheriff's department or county better than I do. And I've already been working towards all of these changes and initiatives that we need to make our communities safe.
S5: Meanwhile , Myers , who's a retired sheriff's commander , says he can help diversify the department.
S3: Create an environment in which the Department of 4700 positions reflects the community where policing.
S5: The sheriff is a nonpartisan office. But party politics still play a role in the race. Hamelin was an independent voter , but in 2020 changed to the Republican Party and has their backing. He says despite the county's majority of Democrat voters , he can be elected.
S3: No matter.
S6: Where you fall on the political spectrum. You want to be safe in your neighborhood. It's the number one job of government is to be safe , to be to provide safety and security and public safety.
S5: Meanwhile , Martinez was a Republican but changed her party to Democrat in November 2020 and has the backing of many well-known Democrats , including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. She says her decision to change parties was personal.
S7: It was done before , made before I decided to run for sheriff. But the sheriff's not partisan. The job of public safety really is doesn't follow one party or another.
S5: Myers also changed his party from Republican to Democrat in 2016 and has the endorsement of the local Democratic Party. He ran for sheriff in 2018 and lost , but says it'll be different this time.
S3: I'm not getting picked on. I'm not getting marginalized. I'm not getting discriminated against.
S5: The top two vote getters in the primary June 7th will advance to the November general election. Claire TRAGESER , KPBS News.
S4: And an update to that story. The Republican candidate for San Diego Sheriff John Hammerlock , has lost the endorsement of the San Diego Union-Tribune , and he's left his job in the city attorney's office. That happened after a video surfaced showing Hamling making comments about where trans women should use the bathroom. It was recorded by the news outlet Times of San Diego. At an April candidates forum in Ramona.
S6: They're going to be asking him to enforce that. I'm out here. Allow those men to go to the women's baths.
S4: Camerlengo wrote this as an apology. I apologize to those who took my comments to imply criticism of anyone based on their sex or gender identity.
S1: One of the most competitive races in San Diego's June 7th primary election is the race for City Council District two. Incumbent Jim Campbell faces five challengers in the district , which covers Claremont , Mission Beach and Point Loma. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen takes a closer look at some of those candidates and their priorities.
S8: City Council member Jen Campbell assembled her supporters recently to tout one of her proudest accomplishments since taking office a system to legalize and regulate short term home rentals popularized by Airbnb. The issue had been at a stalemate for years , with hard liners on both sides. Campbell says she brokered the compromise.
S1: We will close the chapter.
S5: On the unregulated market that.
S4: Has vexed our city , our residents and a good faith host who wanted a clear set of guidelines to follow.
S8: The rules , limit the number of full time vacation rentals to 1% of the city's housing stock.
S4: Which will allow thousands of.
S5: Homes to come back.
S4: Onto our housing.
S5: Market and bring stability and normalcy and.
S4: Peace and.
S5: Quiet to our neighborhoods.
S8: While Campbell is proud of the ordinance , her opponents in the race see it as a betrayal.
S5: I'm just tired of not having responsive government or transparent government.
S8: Mandy Havlik is an activist and member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board , where she's been a skeptic of growth and denser housing.
S5: A lot of my background is in customer service and I feel like that's something that's missing in the office. A lot of the issues with our current incumbent is , Hey , I call , I have issues and I'm not getting a response. I'm not getting a call back. And ultimately , we all want to feel seen and heard.
S8: KPBS spoke with Havlik and three other candidates at a debate this week , which Campbell said she couldn't attend because of a scheduling conflict.
S3: What kind of city are we giving my kids is the reason why I'm running.
S8: Joel Day is a UCSD lecturer and former staffer in the mayor's office. He bills himself as the most detail oriented candidate with a short , medium and long term plan to tackle his top priority homelessness.
S3: We need safe encampment sites so that people get into the continuum of care and off of stoops and off of the streets. We need block leasing or master leasing so that the city directly can put people into units without security deposits , without credit checks , which are huge barriers of entry to rapidly rehouse people. And then finally , we need to build deeply affordable units.
S5: I will show up and the community will be heard at City Hall.
S8: Linda Lucas is a dentist , professor of dental hygiene and a realtor. Among her top priorities is fixing San Diego's crumbling infrastructure , though she doesn't want to pay for those repairs with higher taxes.
S5: A lot of us are being taxed out of the state , right ? I don't know how much more of a burden we can handle. So my goal is to look for alternative funding measures. Seek the maximum we can from the state and from our federal governments. And only if we've exhausted all other resources. Then we can talk about raising taxes.
S8: Lori Saldana is a former state assembly member and retired community college professor. What sets her apart in the crowded field of candidates.
S8: She says her record in the legislature shows she was ahead of the curve in supporting same sex marriage and the ban on the open carrying of firearms.
S5: So I think as a state changed , I really pushed , pushed , pushed on those issues , if not for me to get them through with my name on them. For others in future sessions to get them through.
S8: District two is at the center of some hot debates in city politics , like how to redevelop the city owned sports arena property in the Midway District and how to update the Claremont Community Plan , which will change height and density limits in that neighborhood. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary will compete in a runoff on November 8th. Andrew Bohn , KPBS News.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. Chula Vista will have a new mayor for the first time since 2014. Whoever is elected will have to address the city's structural budget deficit and try to bring a four year university to the South Bay. KPBS reporter Gustavo Solis talked to four of the six candidates in the race.
S3: Chula Vista Structural Budget deficit is projected to grow to $12 million in less than a decade , and the next mayor will have to address the city's finances. Every candidate agrees that Chula Vista needs to do a better job of attracting businesses and growing its tax base. But how they plan to go about it is very different. City Council member Jill Galvez says that the city simply needs to watch how much it spends going forward.
S5: You always have to be mindful that that things can happen and you don't spend money that you don't have. Right now , what we're facing is high inflation. And so we're seeing the cost of of energy go up significantly. We've seen the cost of gas , which in black packs are over 700 vehicle fleet.
S3: Senator Encarnacion is a first time candidate. She wants to take a more proactive approach when it comes to business development.
S5: We could really be targeting and be much more proactive than we've ever been at identifying what ? Who are the likely work centers or employers to come down to Chula Vista ? Let's go talk to them and find out what they need. Right , to make that decision. And we need to be doing that two years out from when we know their lease is going to be up. Right. Like we need to be so much more proactive than we've ever been.
S3: Amar campaign. Aja ran for Congress twice in the East County. He says the current mayor and city council have left a lot of money on the table , particularly from the federal government.
S6: And I've heard , you know , our current mayor has gone to meetings and asked for earmarks past the deadline.
S3: And it is just unnerving to hear that. That's millions of dollars on the table. And instead of getting those earmarks , we have to raise local taxes. Rudy Ramirez was on the city council from 2006 to 2015. He also says the city needs to do more to attract businesses. I would invest in getting these this land more ready , readily available for an employer. Right now , if I'm an employer wants to come to Chula Vista , they're telling them they're four years out before they can start operating and employers want to hear that they'll go somewhere else. The other big campaign issue is a decade long plan to bring a four year university to Chula Vista. The city set aside 400 acres of land and even offered leases for as little as a dollar. But nobody has taken their offer. Kevin Aja says there's just no confidence in the city's current political leadership to get anything done. I think that it's a lack of confidence in our city. I mean , we have a city where our leadership has not been able to deal with our deficits , has not been able to take out the trash. So investors look at our cities like you can't take out the trash or you cannot build a university or a bayfront. What kind of leadership do.
S6: You have there ? Right.
S3: Encarnacion has university experience. She currently works at Southwestern College , where she helped San Diego State University bring a four year degree program there. Chula Vista took too long to bring this service to the South Bay , she says.
S5: With all due respect to the city , we kind of saw like we have to take the range of academic program planning because we're the experts and our students here in South County can't wait for the city to find a university to come in and do it.
S3: Ramirez also thinks that Chula Vista approach has been all wrong. He thinks that the city should bring research companies to the South Bay first. I think they've they've been approaching it in the wrong way first , hoping that they could , you know , that a U.S. system or a state system would come down and decide to settle in Chula Vista. You know , I think early on we knew that that wasn't likely to happen. Ramirez added that research companies that work in biotech and aerospace are investing millions in North County. The city should try to bring some of that money south. Galvez says that the city needs to explore private funding options to help lure universities to Chula Vista. She'd like to start an endowment and build relationships with top donors.
S5: Past councils have invested millions of dollars in studying. You know what people want ? But. But it's getting from there to. To getting to the place of what people will donate. To build is another another matter. When you go on a university campus , you see that the buildings are named from the philanthropist , the programs.
S2: Their name from philanthropists.
S3: Election Day is June 7th and you can already drop off your ballots. The top two vote getters will face off in November. Gustavo Solis , KPBS News.
S1: There are six candidates in the race. Councilman John McCann was not available for a recorded interview. Retired Army Major Spencer Cash declined to answer questions about city finances and.
S4: Assembly District 80 is up for grabs this June 7th , not just once , but twice. KPBS Speaks City Heights reporter Jacob Ayre explains why.
S3: After Lorena Gonzalez stepped down from her Assembly District ADC in January , a battle to represent San Diego's South Bay got underway. First , there was a special election primary on April 5th. No candidate got the majority vote. So now there's a runoff on June 7th. That's the same day as a separate general election for the same seat. Yes , it's confusing.
S5: There will be approximately.
S2: 250,000 voters in the county that will have two Assembly District contests on their ballot.
S3: San Diego County Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paz explains how this will work.
S2: One will be the general election for the 80th Assembly District for the remainder.
S5: Of the current term. So it's.
S2: Electing someone to fill the seat for the remainder of this current term through December of. 2022.
S5: 2022.
S2: The second contest State Assembly contests.
S5: Will be for the new term.
S2: Beginning December 5th of 2022.
S3: So voters will vote twice , once for a candidate for June through December , and then again for a candidate to go on to the November general election. The November winner will then represent the district for the next two years , for the June through December term. Democrats Georgette Gomez and David Alvarez are the only two candidates competing head to head. Meanwhile , the standard election primary will include the two Democrats , as well as a pair of Republicans Lincoln , Picard and John Vogel. Garcia , Southwestern College professor of political science Phil Sines , says whoever wins the special election will technically run as an incumbent in the November general election.
S6: They both have terrific name recognition. They have the political machinery in place. I would say that those are other factors to be considered. But yes , I think there is an advantage , especially if they're able to use that time wisely and generate enough positive publicity during that time period.
S3: To further complicate matters. People who lived in the 2011 district boundaries can vote for the special election candidates. But the standard election primary is only for those who live in the updated 2021 district boundaries. So some folks may not be able to vote for.
S2: Both on the ballot for the 80th Assembly District. We have in parentheses special runoff to fill vacancy , which is separate from their regular the primary election for the new term of the whatever Assembly District they reside in now.
S3: Again , the top two vote getters in the standard primary election this June will head to a November general election. Sign says even though the two Democrats are the most likely to be on the November ballot , it's the Republican and Independent voters who may make a difference.
S6: Because there was 9000 votes in the previous election that went to the one Republican that was running. So who's going to get those 9000 votes ? Who's going to get the other Republican votes when they vote again in November ? And it may come down to Republican voters deciding the election as much as it does for Democrats in that district.
S3: Results in both contests will be certified 30 days after the June 7th election. Jacob Air , KPBS News.
S1: Now that we've heard more about some of the races in this upcoming primary election , we turn to our discussion with San Diego County Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paz to talk about how you can cast your ballot. Cynthia June 7th is one week away.
S2: Every active , registered voter in the county has received a ballot in the mail. So if they still have that ballot in hand , go ahead and act on that vote. Your ballot in the comfort of your home , mark your selections. SEAL it inside your return envelope. Sign that return envelope and drop it in the mail or drop it off at any of our official drop boxes across the county. We have 132 official ballot drop off locations across the county , and you can find those locations and the hours of operation at City Dotcom. You can also drop off that ballot or vote in person at any of our vote centers. We have 39 vote centers open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. On June 7th , we will have an additional 179 vote centers open across the county for a total of 218 votes. Centers open starting Saturday , June 4th through Election Day on Election Day. The hours will change to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all of these locations.
S1: And earlier , you mentioned how building out the registrar website was a major focus for you.
S2: What happens to your voter registration data ? We explain the instructions for voting. Remember to sign the outside of your security return envelope when you're returning that ballot in the mail or at a drop box. That signature is compared against the signature in your registration file. So that's one of our key verification processes and the securing of the mail in votes. We're also adding a security page that breaks down the steps that the ballot goes through , the printing , the mailing and how we count the ballot , as well as some other security components of the election.
S2: They can act on that ballot. They can vote in the comfort of their home. You can also vote in person. We have 39 vote centers open today until 5 p.m. tonight. If you miss the registration deadline and you want to participate in this election , it is not too late. You just need to visit one of these vote centers , register conditionally and you can vote provisionally. And once that registration is verified and confirmed , we will count that ballot.
S2: You want to give plenty of time for the registrar's office to receive that ballot , but any ballot that's returned through the mail that is postmarked on or before Election Day and received up to seven days after Election Day is considered timely cast and will be added to the count.
S1: And for more information , you can also visit KPBS voter hub at KPBS , Saugus Voter Hub. I have been speaking with San Diego County's registrar of voters , Cynthia Paz. Cynthia , thank you for joining us.
S2: Thank you.

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An election special to help make voting easier. With one week left until California's Primary Election Day, Midday Edition looks at some of the key races in San Diego County and hears from Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paes.