The Battle in District 4 — Tom Shepard and Aimee Remanick’s great Strategy and Mail for Ron Roberts… Among the BEST work of 2010

Jim Sills Jim Sills


How does a Republican county supervisor win a 57% re-election landslide in a district that went 68% for Barack Obama just 2 years ago?  That’s not a typo, President Obama got 68% in District 4.  You are seeing one major reason for Roberts’ win here, the well-crafted and targeted mail campaign designed by Tom Shepard and his colleague Aimee Remanick.

They did not try to demolish challenger Stephen Whitburn, instead focusing on the ‘stature’ gap, and Roberts’ long local history (Kearny High School, SDSU, 50-year SD resident, architect) vs. Wisconsin transplant and activist Whitburn.

…………………………………………THESE   KEY   ISSUES   WORKED

The key issues shown here, and  which moved the race were (1) Taxes and Finance.  Roberts inherited a County in financial straits and helped lead it to stability and a strong Standard and Poor’s rating.  By contrast, Whitburn backed charging for trash collection in SD City.  (2) Crime, comparing Roberts’ support from the law enforcement leadership of SD to Whitburn’s service with a City task force on Marijuana dispensaries (3) Prop. A and PLAs. Roberts helped put Prop. A on the ballot, banning Project Labor Agreements on county projects.  Mr. Whitburn opposed the measure  (4)  Public Health. Roberts backed support for local community health clinics, while Mr. Whitburn was scored for looking at reopening a County-run general hospital.

………………………………………….ROBERTS  TURNS  IT  AROUND

Many local observers, GOP and Democratic, thought Ron Roberts would be in trouble in the heavier turnout of a November runoff, after getting 47% in the primary.   Our colleagues at the liberal “Blue SD” website confidently headlined,  ‘The Beginning of the End of Ron Roberts’……. They foresaw, “the Ron Roberts saga [in]  its last whimper.”  And they were not alone in holding such a skeptical view!

But the calm, considered strategy worked out by Tom Shepard and Aimee Remanick surprised that conventional wisdom and delivered a blowout 57% victory instead.   This was one of the BEST-run San Diego campaigns of 2010. To put their accomplishment in perspective, ask yourself this question……. How many Democrats could win in a district that went 68% for John McCain? Not many !