SWEEP… Conservatives take all the “BIG 5″ races in San Diego’s November 2010 Election Showdown
San Diego’s Right Alliance, a conservative-libertarian coalition, can NOW claim victories in the five most hotly-contested local election battles which came to an end Tuesday.
What a difference two years make! In 2008 it was our turn to mourn close losses for SD City Council, the State Assembly and other key posts.
But 2010 is very different. Here are the “Big 5″, chosen because they drew the most controversy, spending, volunteer labor, and intense conflict between local business and union forces.
In random order, the Big 5 races are:
(1) Lorie Zapf – San Diego City Council 6th district (open seat as Donna Frye termed out). A classic battle between ex-Assemblyman Howard Wayne and businesswoman Lorie Zapf. The Republican Party of San Diego dueled with the Labor Council here, in addition to the candidates’ own very active operations. (Zapf 52.5% ) wins it, 16,787 to 15,217. John Hoy helmed the winning team in an effort to be remembered and carefully studied.
(2) Prop. D — San Diego City proposed 1/2-cent sales tax increase. Gayle Falkenthal and Councilmen Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer took the lead here, engaging their seasoned opponents from the firefighters and police association PACs. It was over when the first returns were posted Tuesday night (62.5% No). Running totals now are 160,154 No votes, to 97,590 Yes.
(3) Supervisor Bill Horn — Every four years local liberals take a run at the tough retired U.S. Marine, and every four years they wake up with a loss. The United Domestic Workers led the attack this time, with the SD Labor Council adding a major radio buy. Tom Shepard and Aimee Remanick guided the Horn effort, ably aided by business independent expenditure efforts. The low point of this campaign was a local magazine cover depicting Horn being flushed down a commode. But election day it was Bill Horn with his hand on the plunger! (Bill Horn 53.4%) Running count: 63,073 for Horn, to 55,117 for Vista councilman Steve Gronke.
(4) Supervisor Ron Roberts — The Kearny High and SDSU grad faced his toughest contest since beating Peter Navarro back in 1994. Stephen Whitburn was the Demo challenger and ran an energetic campaign. The SD Labor Council did a radio buy for him, and midtown liberal activists threw in their weight. Shepard and Remanick guided the Roberts effort here too, and again business groups helped with independent efforts. Roberts’ longtime roots in the district were important in these neighborhoods where your High School affiliation still matters… a lot! (Roberts 57.3%) Running count 57,096 Roberts, vs. 42,537 votes for Whitburn.
(5) Assessor/Recorder/Clerk — Ernie Dronenburg made a memorable comeback to elective office, challenging appointed Democratic incumbent David Butler, in a race which spanned a full year of competition. After forcing Butler into a runoff in June, Ernie picked up the pivotal endorsement of Jeff Olson, the strong 3rd-place finisher. Dronenburg backed up his beliefs by investing plenty of his own funds in the race. Veteran statesman John Dadian did a yeoman’s job assisting Ernie along the way with wise counsel. Republican veteran Dronenburg now has a career campaign won-loss record of 8 wins, 0 losses. (Dronenburg 51.2%), 255,780 votes to 244,408.
Republican Party of San Diego Role
Credit to the Republican Party of San Diego for endorsing all five of these candidates and causes, and then getting the word out to rank-and-file Republicans. Hat Tip to Tony Krvaric and Barrett Tetlow for their jobs. Very well done.