Top 2010 Democratic Mailers — Juan Vargas for Senate, SD Schools Prop. J — and Dems’ 4th Supervisor slate card

Jim Sills Jim Sills Leave a Comment


Let’s tip the Rostra hat today to the other Team in town, and 3 of the better Democratic mailers seen in this cycle…  (1)  Juan Vargas for State Senate.  A brilliant and persuasive “defense” piece from the
candidate’s wife, Adrienne,  replying to negative mail from primary foe Mary Salas.  (2) A San Diego Democratic Party slate card introducing the 4 Democrats running against Ron Roberts for County Supervisor and (3) a “Yes on J” brochure, urging a ‘parcel tax’ for the  SD City Schools district .

RESULTS:  Juan Vargas won his state  Senate race, Proposition J failed, and GOP County Supervisor Ron Roberts was re-elected to a new term in District 4.

………………………………………….DETAILS ON THESE 3 RACES

With term-limited Denise Ducheny leaving, former Assemblyman Juan Vargas and then-Assemblywoman Mary Salas competed for the Democratic nod in Senate district 40.  As our colleagues at the liberal Blue SD website reported,  Mary Salas ‘came out swinging’ with negative mail about Vargas almost 2 months before the June 8th primary (

The Vargas camp replied with a note from spouse Adrienne Vargas.  It featured a large, attractive  photo of her with her husband.  In the accompanying letter, Mrs. Vargas  explained Juan worked in the private sector after leaving the Assembly,   supporting her and their 2  children, but was now returning to public service.  [The Salas mail had hammered Vargas for representing business clients in Sacramento, suggesting ethical lapses.]

This personal testimonial (and photo of their children] made the Salas attacks look fairly petty. The mail piece gave a morale boost to Juan Vargas’ backers when they needed one.  In the end, Juan Vargas won the closest state legislative race in recent history (24282  to  24,260).

…………………………………..Slate Card in  Supervisor Dist. 4

Meanwhile, the SD Democratic Party had 4 party members running against Ron Roberts in District 4.  That’s fine, but how to mention all of them in a ‘member communication’ to rank-and-file Democrats?   The attached slate card shows how they did it:  (a) photos of all 4 (b) brief biography and (c) passing swipe at Ron Roberts.   This is a clean, easy-to-read layout.  It may look simple, but only if you’ve never designed one of these things.

RESULTS: the 4-challenger  strategy worked short-term, denying Roberts an outright majority in the June primary.  But Mr. Roberts  won the November runoff with 57% vs. Mr. Whitburn, the ultimate Democratic challenger.


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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