Election Season is Upon Us...Get Ready!
Monday, June 1, 2015
by: Craig Benedetto, California Strategies

Section: Government Affairs

For many, June 7, 2016 is an insignificant date far off the in the distance.  For the political world, it’s the potential finish line of a race started months – if not years – ago by elected officials seeking re-election and eager candidates seeking their chance to hold office.
Although BOMA San Diego does not endorse political candidates, given the public policy implications of these elections on the commercial real estate industry, the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) closely monitors elections at the federal, state and local level.
With that in mind, here is a VERY EARLY initial review of some of the races the GAC is watching as we head into a yearlong battle of campaign mailers, yard signs and television ads. 
52nd Congressional District – Incumbent Congressman Scott Peters (D) narrowly defeated former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio last year.  Peters will again have republican opposition, this time from Marine veteran Jacqueline Atkinson.  At this point, it is hard to imagine Congressman Peters being unseated.
78th Assembly District – Toni Atkins (D), the incumbent and Assembly Speaker, is termed out, and two-term San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria (D) has announced his candidacy and is already the heavy favorite to take the seat having garnered the endorsements of Atkins and two of his potential main Democrat challengers.  A republican challenger will likely emerge, but the political registration numbers and Gloria’s name ID with San Diego voters give him a significant advantage, and we expect him to be our newest Assemblyman.
77th Assembly District – Incumbent Brian Maienschein (R) has announced his re-election campaign.  However, he is also a rumored challenger to San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts (D).  If Maienschein opts to challenge Supervisor Roberts, his Assembly seat would open up and San Diego City Councilmember Mark Kersey (R) is a potential replacement.
County of San Diego
District 1 - Incumbent Supervisor Greg Cox (R) is running for re-election.  He has not drawn any challengers yet, but a democratic opponent will likely emerge.  One rumored candidate is San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez (D).  At this stage, Cox is a favorite to win re-election, but we’ll keep watching to see if he draws a credible challenger.
District 2 – Incumbent Supervisor Dianne Jacob (R) is running for re-election.  State Senator Joel Anderson (R) has also announced his campaign.  This sets up a unique scenario where Supervisor Jacob is being challenged from within her own party.  Anderson has already received the endorsement of the local Republican Party, but Supervisor Jacob has been endorsed by many of her colleagues, including a who’s-who of Republican officials from throughout the County.  Expect this to be a major battle with lots of money being spent.
District 3 – Three months ago, Incumbent Dave Roberts (D) was expected to have an easy re-election campaign.  However, recent media reports regarding staffing issues and turnover in his office appears to have peaked the interest of several potential high profile challengers to his re-election.  It appears clear that a republican opponent will definitely emerge.  Those mulling a run include Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, State Assembly Member Brian Maienschein (R) and San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey.  If one or more of these heavy weights runs, expect a knockdown, drag-out race to the finish.
City of San Diego
Mayor – Mayor Faulconer (R) is running for re-election and is a heavy favorite.  A democratic challenger has yet to declare.  Rumored candidates include San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez (D) and State Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D).
City Attorney – incumbent Jan Goldsmith (R) is termed out.  Several challengers have emerged including Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos (D), attorney Gil Cabrera (D), Deputy City Attorney John Hemmerling (R) and Assistant District Attorney Robert Hickey (R).  Depending on the number of candidates, this could go to a November run-off.
District 1 – incumbent Sherri Lightner (D) is termed out.  Three candidates have announced, Joe LaCava (D), Barbara Bry (D) and Ray Ellis (R).  While City seats are technically non-partisan, this race will decide the political balance of the San Diego City Council, which currently has a 5-4 Democrat majority.  There is no easy favorite in this race, and there will be a lot of money spent.
District 3 – incumbent Todd Gloria (D) is termed out and is running for State Assembly.  Two challengers have already announced, Senator Marty Block’s Chief of Staff Chris Ward (D) and Councilmember Todd Gloria’s staff member Anthony Bernal (D).  Other candidates may emerge, but the race should come down to Ward and Bernal, potentially in a run-off if there are a number of other candidates.
District 5 – if he opts to run for re-election, incumbent Mark Kersey (R) should easily be re-elected.  However, if he opts to run for either the San Diego County 3rd Supervisorial District or the 77th State Assembly seat, this race is wide open.  The political registration advantages a republican.  Rumored candidates include County Supervisor Bill Horn’s Chief of Staff, Dustin Steiner (R), Mayor Faulconer’s staffer Felipe Monroig, as well as TJ Zane, current head of the San Diego County Republican Party.
District 7 – incumbent Scott Sherman (R) is seeking re-election and Matt Kostrinksy (D), his challenger from his first race, is also expected to run.  Sherman narrowly defeated Kostrinsky in 2012 so expect a closely watched rematch, which Sherman should win.
District 9 – incumbent Marti Emerald (D) has announced she’s not running for re-election.  A slew of candidates have already announced their intention to run and all are democrats, which is natural given the heavy advantage democrats hold in registration numbers within that district.  Potential candidates include Emerald’s current chief of staff, Ricardo Flores, Neighborhood Market Association executive Mark Arabo, Araceli Martinez, a local family law attorney who has previously run and lost to Emerald.  This race will likely go to a November run-off, particularly if the number of candidates continues to grow.
If you have any questions regarding these races or are interested in participating on the BOMA San Diego Government Affairs Committee, please contact Craig Benedetto at craigb@calstrat.com.

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