Anyone with a political crystal ball should look at this race. This race could be ground zero for a hyper-partisan war in the fall. The elements are all here for political Superbowl showdown; no incumbent, a possible pick up for the Republicans, and a district that has more independent voters than the rest. Polling was done two weekends ago anticipating a Wayne-Zapf smackdown. We’ll see.
The anointed Republican candidate looks good but has been doing herself no favors by dueling with CityBeat and hanging out at Teabagger rallies For those late to the game, Zapf said one thing about homosexuals and then claimed something else only to be proven wrong. As such, she’s been lying low and only shows up when she has to like the candidate forum at Clairemont H.S. She gained some sympathy after a joke by Hadley went wrong (he was booed) and lost it after a few seconds of silence in response to a question from Wayne about her public service. She’ll have ABC, the Lincoln Club, and the SD GOP all trying to buy the seat but it will be hard sell with this candidate.
Donna’s COS has his work cut out for him. At the moment, Frye seems focused on defeating Strong Mayor and, with Whitburn making a run for Supervisor, Hadley’s natural allies and supporters don’t seem to be there. His sparring with Zapf was unexpected but necessary if he is going to establish himself as his own man and not Donna Frye II.
For being the perceived front-runner, Wayne has been spared (so far) the back-and-forth that Zapf and Hadley appear to be doing. With the endorsements of the San Diego police, firefighters and League of Conservation Voters, all Wayne needs to do is keep on keeping on. He has the most money, the best endorsements and has been seen walking precincts. The only thing to fear is that Democrats will succumb to the “Marti Emerald Syndrome” where, like Marti, they assume this is a done deal and wake up the day after the election to discover the Democrat came in second.
This Republican has also been walking precincts and he seems to be gaining a following. He is not Zapf and he is willing to meet voters to make his case. His platform is simple and his signs are a bit much but he knows what he doesn’t know and, unlike Zapf, can speak beyond talking points. This race would be radically different had the GOP establishment gotten behind this guy.
Word on the street is that Tran, the woman who files yet doesn’t do anything to run for office, is walking precincts as well. With Zapf’s self-inflicted wounds it looks like both Huckbone and Tran are moving in. Can they topple Zapf? They lack the funds and resources but if they knock on enough doors, anything can happen.
Wayne has never struck me as being overconfident, and his people are clearly aware of his shortcomings. Given that local races are all about mail and personal connections, as opposed to TV, Wayne should do fine.
I'm not sure how much the hyperpartisan nature of the election will affect this race - both Democrats and Republicans should turnout at the same rate. Plus, if Zapf isn't walking, then voters may decide that Wayne is the Democrat that they like.
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