Last night's Democratic Party Central Committee turned out to be the contentious meeting that many were expecting. The big item on the agenda of course was the endorsement for city attorney. As reported elsewhere, incumbent City Attorney Mike Aguirre failed to receive the endorsement from the party last night. Besides Mike Aguirre, both Scott Peters and Amy Lepine were in attendance to seek the party's endorsement too. The process quickly boiled down to the Aguirre v. Peters match that everyone had expected it to be.
During the candidate discussion period Aguirre continued to play the role of martyr. That he was the victim of backroom deals being orchestrated between corrupt politicians, labor bosses and the downtown establishment. For many of the central committee members, Aguirre's manichean view of city politics played to their sympathies. Agurrie also took several jabs at Peters, arguing that he was responsible for the financial mess in the city.
Scott Peters, on the other hand touted his Democratic bona fides that fell on a deaf ear for many of members in the audience. Peters additionally argued that unlike Aguirre, he has demonstrated an ability to work with others council in his role as president of the city council. It was painfully obvious that the central committee was divided Aguirre and Peters with Aguirre having more supporters there that Peters. After two votes Aguirre fell 1% short of the 60% required for the party endorsement.
Aguirre has now twice failed in the last 6 months to capture the party endorsement. It appears that he wasn't able to enlarge his majority on the central committee enough for him to break the 60% threshold. If he ends up making the runoff for the November election, he can once again go before the central committee in July to try to get the "hat trick" in no endorsement from the party.
Correction: In a post the other day I made mention that the Democratic Party in 2004 had endorsed Kathryn Burton over Scott Peters in 2004. The information I received was wrong from a central committee member was incorrect. Scott Peters and Kathryn Burton were co-endorsed by the party.