Though primary elections like Tuesday’s typically draw lower turnouts, San Diego has a few local races driving voters to the ballots.
Most notably – the race for San Diego’s next mayor. Before lame-duck Mayor Jerry Sanders even leaves office in early December, four major contenders are brawling to get their feet in the door of his eleventh floor office at City Hall.
They all have wide name recognition among voters county-wide.
Tomorrow’s closest and most-watched match-up will be between U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who left the GOP in March to run as an independent, said Democratic political analyst Jon Elliott.
“What’s happened lately is that this race is now between Bob Filner and Nathan Fletcher,” Elliott said. “Filner turned his guns on Fletcher, while Fletcher has been concentrating on DeMaio.”
Filner expressed confidence early in the race that he would make it to the November runoff as the lone Democrat, and Councilman Carl DeMaio’s strong stance on taxpayer issues and city hall financial reform gained favor from Republicans.
However, in the past several months, the percentage of undecided voters has shrunk, the money funneling into the campaigns has grown, and the attacks between Fletcher and DeMaio have intensified.
For real-time elections results, check out our Decision 2012 feature page Tuesday night.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis trailed last in the polls leading up to Tuesday’s primary, and candidates attacks have steered clear of Dumanis’ camp.
GOP Political analyst Joseph Perkins said in a previous episode of “Politically Speaking” that while Dumanis is a viable and experienced candidate, she likely will not get the votes needed to make it to November.
“Had she entered the race earlier she would have been a more formidable candidate,” Perkins said.
Another important race to watch will be between two Democratic candidates in California’s 52nd U.S. Congressional District. The race is the poster-child for the dynamism of California’s new Open Primary, as the bulk of Tuesday’s battle will be fought between Democrats Lori Saldana and Scott Peters. The winner will likely face incumbent GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray in the November Runoff.
Bilbray has served six terms in Congress in two separate stints. But his Republican Party holds only a 36 to 33 percent registration edge in the new 52nd District. And more than one in every four voters is an independent.
“The one thing I know about this district is, the independents will decide this election," Bilbray says.
Elliott, who admits to being a Saldana supporter, said if Democrats want to win a majority in the House, they must vote strategically for the right opposition to Bilbray.
Perhaps riding off the momentum of the mayoral race, Proposition B is also a major driving factor for many voters. It would transition future city employees – except police officers – from the current pension system to a 401(k) type of retirement plan. It calls for freezing pensionable pay for new city employees for five years.
The campaign for Prop. B is more about the message of pension reform, and perhaps not as much about the measure itself, Elliott said.
Elliott and Perkins will both be in NBC 7’s newsroom Tuesday night as the results come in. We’ll have real-time results on our Decision 2012 page. We'll be airing live coverage of all the major races from 8 to 11 p.m., with NBC 7 San Diego reporters embedded at all the major election night campaign headquarters and analysis from experts across the political spectrum.
The coverage will be live on our California Nonstop channel -- Time Warner channel 253 and Cox channel 807.
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