Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thoughts on the 3rd SD City Council Race

It’s a solid Dem district with three good Democrats running. Here’s where I see things:

Todd Gloria
This guy may only be 29 but he’s running a campaign like a pro. From the signs blanketing University just after the Pride parade last year to racking up endorsements from the P.O.A., the League of Conservation Voters, and Francine Busby, this guy’s got it going on. From the beginning, I was impressed with his campaign and the tightness of his team. This shows an executive ability to put together a staff and manage operations.

But I don’t think he can clear this in June because of…

John Hartley
Say what you will about him, his shoe-leather campaign will pay dividends. San Diegans dig a bit of old school in their politics and John has the time and energy to walk the district. This bodes well for him making the run-off. Hell, he can win without Remer even though, like a lamprey, Larry is present.

Gloria has a more professional operation but Hartley has name recognition and recognizes that, for all its bluster, this is not a “gay” seat. Just look at the numbers. Any strategy based only on the community may get you in the run-off but won’t deliver the election, at least the first time.

Which brings me to….

Stephen Whitburn
An upstanding young man with the San Diego Democratic Club and some of their more active members behind him. Were the community unified, either he or Gloria could have a shot at taking this in the first round. As is, he’s got a lot of ground to cover having been out-hustled by Gloria early on. With Hartley pounding the pavement, Whitburn is caught between toe skilled operators plying their skill which leaves him, IMHO, the third man in this race.

I know labor is split, as is the gay community, on this race. I don’t know who will win, but, so far, things haven’t gotten bloody and this bodes well. Any of these three would be necessary for progress on the City Council. I just hope things don’t get too ugly before it is all over.


Anonymous said...

This is Todd's race to lose.

Anonymous said...

This is Todd's race to win. He is young and has had to weather front-runner status. Still, he is coming out on top. Labor's poll had him above 20% before he ever dropped a piece of mail. No 29 year old should be able to take out a former Councilman and head of the SDDC. But, Todd will do it!

Anonymous said...

So should Todd take out a former SDDC head, what does this say about the influence of the SDDC?

Anonymous said...

Stephen has been showing up at meetings, but I agree that he started too late. The SDDC should have split their endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Hartley will not take the seat. While District 3 is not majority gay, the heart of the political community is in the gay community -- similar to District 4 and the African-American community. Additionally, the demographics of the area are trending younger, and that hurts Hartley, who depends on older voters who remember him. He'll get his 25-30%, but not much more.

Stephen Whitburn got run over by the Gloria machine early on (and make no mistake, Gloria is a campaigning machine), but seems to have regained some of his footing. That said, I haven't seen any Stephen Whitburn signs.

They're all good Democrats, and strong progressives, but whoever takes this seat has the chance to move up to higher offices. Considering his talents, Gloria looks like someone who'll go far.

Anonymous said...

I've had Stephen volunteer and John Hartley himself visit my doorstep.. nothing from Todd's group though. Anyone know how much of the district they've covered on the ground?

Anonymous said...

I am more interested to see what happens in June as a measure of the party's own power in city council race. The party couldn't even get it right when they endorsed the loser in D8 for someone very liberal and if Todd pulls off the win in D3 and heads into a run-off with Hartley then thats two races in a row where the party has trouble endorsing the candidate that the community wants. While it is also a good barometer of SDDC's influence on the party it should also be looked at as a close look as to whether not the party itself is in need of an overhaul to get rid of the crazy ultra-liberals like one specific speaker at yesterday's forum who summed up this race as "do we want to vote between a liberal or a moderate", the party is becoming too extreme and needs to return to it's grassroots and focus on who can we support that the democratic community in the district believes shares the ideas of that community? Will be interesting to see if the party is going to become an extreme liberal club or eventually move back to becoming a grassroots party.

Anonymous said...

Im not interested in personal attacks, just people looking at the facts. For Todd to suggest that he will fight for us when his list of developer contributions is at least 6 pages long is difficult to swallow. Here is just a few of the many concerns like his contributions from Sherm Harmer, Building Industry President that pushed for 301 university adamantly opposed any provisions for historic preservation, height limitations, community groups, public parks and a living wage for workers. Contribution from Elliot Feuerstein Mira Mesa Shopping Mall Real Estate Developer, Perry Dealy - President of Manchester Development and public point-man for Doug Manchester's Navy Broadway Complex development which is tied up in litigation because of an inadequate EIR. Manchester group funded ban on gay-marriage initiative. many many more developers on his list. 2. The endorsement on his website by the 2 Coronado council members Carrie Downey & Casey Tanaka who tried to fight the citizens proposition J that would stop runaway development. This guy has some concerns.