SD Rostra

Ron Roberts Voters came from All corners — Republican Supervisor swept Minority Neighborhoods — 66% in George Stevens’ old council district!

It’s no surprise Ron Roberts won Linda Vista, where he grew up (61%) , nor Mission Hills, his home the past 3 decades (59%). But when his very best neighborhoods were All in the late, great George Stevens’ city council district 4… Well, now That is a real surprise!

Impressively, Ron Roberts won West Encanto (predominantly African-American) with 65%, Paradise Hills (sizable Filipino-American demographic) with 68% and East Encanto (large Latino impact) with 67%.

Democratic Challenger Stephen Whitburn did well within SD Council district 3,where he ran a strong, though losing bid vs. Todd Gloria in 2008. Whitburn took District 3 this time with 55%, and a 3,600-vote majority.

But that margin was more than cancelled by Roberts’ unbelievable 66% win in George Stevens’ (now Tony Young’s) balliwick, and a crushing 7,590- vote majority there.

………………………………..OK, SO HOW DID THAT HAPPEN ?

(1) Ron Roberts shows up at community meetings, answers questions, and makes sure County services are delivered throughout his district. (2) He has an effective County staff, helmed by local government veteran Sal Giametta, a staff star in Mayor Maureen O’Connor’s administration.

Neither of these important factors are in any serious dispute.

And, I believe, the results also reflect (3) an enduring impact of feelings about the Proposition 8 campaign of 2008. The key neighborhoods cited above backed the traditional marriage initiative in 2008, as African-American ballots statewide provided the winning margin for its passage. To be sure, Ron Roberts himself opposed a similar measure (Prop. 22) in 2000. But news media coverage in 2010 noted Whitburn had been a leader against Prop. 8, and sought to be the first gay SD County supervisor.

Roberts’ campaign mail and message did not mention this point, sticking to subjects like fiscal responsibility, support for the anti-PLA Prop. A, fire protection, and Whitburn’s role with a City Marijuana Task Force on legal dispensaries for the weed.

But council district 4 voters are always well-informed, and eager consumers of news media coverage. They understood the dynamic. Some MSM leaders may have felt they were helping Whitburn by highlighting those details. But in many neighborhoods they did him no favors. This factor helps explain why a solid Roberts victory in council district 4, was then transformed into an amazing landslide.


The largest single block of votes in Supervisor District 4 is Clairemont. It helped that Ron Roberts is a graduate of Kearny High School and a proud backer of the “Komets”.

But this was also the Year of Lorie Zapf, who put the Clairemont- based District 6 SD Council seat back into GOP hands for the first time in 19 years. There was a Republican trend in Clairemont and Bay Park in 2010, and Roberts benefited. Tony Krvaric and the Republican Party accelerated things with ‘member communications’ to rank-and-file GOPers, urging support for Zapf and Roberts alike.

Ron Roberts rolled-up an impressive 61% runaway victory here, in a place where he held his first job as a teenager, working in a local grocery store.

And yes, sportsfans, where you went to High School still matters in older neighborhoods like Clairemont, Linda Vista, Bay Park, Mission Village and Serra Mesa , where the memories are long and the loyalties run very deep! San Diego remains a collection of Small Towns, and this year they rallied behind the Home Boy in District 4.

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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