Nice Guys CAN finish First — Dronenburg takes command this week as new SD County Assessor / Recorder / Clerk

Jim Sills Jim Sills Leave a Comment


Hall of Famer Leo Durocher made Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations with the classic line, “Nice Guys Finish Last.”  The great manager of the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants was talking about baseball, but it is an attitude often found in politics as well.  This week one of the Nicest Guys in San Diego election history, Ernie Dronenburg, takes office early as Assessor/Recorder/Clerk.

SD Rostra broke the story of his candidacy back on December 11, 2009. We went out on a limb, saying he was “seen as the Immediate Favorite to Win Back Key Post” for Republicans.  It took a year of hard work, with loyal support from his wife, but Ernie toppled the incumbent last month in a countywide race, one of the toughest possible political feats.

The defeated incumbent resigned early, and County Supervisors  named Dronenburg to assume office this week, as has been reported elsewhere.  Dronenburg sent his good wishes to Rostra readers recently, and thanked us for our support of  his Reform agenda. Like his longtime predecessor Greg Smith (1983-2008),  Dronenburg won’t just sit there……he will be making positive changes,  with convenience for the public his guiding principle.

………………………………….ERNIE   In    1978    and   ERNIE   In    2010

Dronenburg’s personality has not changed since his first race in 1978, when he defeated another incumbent (an appointee of then-Gov. Jerry Brown!)   for a seat on the state Board of Equalization.  He was open, friendly and willing to listen carefully to other people then, and he ran the same kind of campaign in 2010.

Ernie the Nice Guy now has a career Won/ Loss election record of  8 Winning  races,  and 0 defeats, for a perfect 100%  winning percentage:  5 wins for Board of Equalization,  2 for County Board of Education,  and now 1 for SD County Assessor/Recorder.

So the Rostra Thought for the Day is…. Yes ! A Nice Man or Woman can win success in politics.  Maybe that is the most important thing Ernie and his wife showed us this year.  And For that, we thank them.


Jim Sills is a San Diego political consultant. If you have questions about your future in San Diego and California elections, you can contact Jim at this e-mail address:

He has aided the campaigns of Rep. Darrell Issa, Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, Senators Joel Anderson and Tony Strickland, Rep. Devin Nunes, and Assessor/Recorder Greg Smith, among others.


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