Many ballots from yesterday's election have yet to be counted, but the initial results position San Diego Democrats for rare pick-up opportunities in high-profile races this year.
"Our Democratic candidates were very competitive in this low-turnout primary, and the vast majority of them will continue to a runoff election in which turnout will be more than twice as high," said Jess Durfee, Chair of the County Democratic Party. "The more voters who participate, the more places we win, and that's what I'm looking forward to in November."
In several prominent examples, the Party's candidates have a clear path to win offices that have not been held by Democrats for a decade or more:
• His mayoral opponents all outspent him, but a surge of support for Bob Filner carried the Democrat to within just a couple points of Republican Carl DeMaio. A costly deluge of overtures by Nathan Fletcher failed to convince enough Democratic voters to push the Republican-turned-independent into the runoff.
• Republican Steve Danon and Democrat Dave Roberts virtually tied in the County Board of Supervisors contest in District 3. There has not been an open seat on the board -- let alone a Democratic Supervisor -- for nearly 20 years, and Dave Roberts has the support of the Republican currently serving in that seat.
• In two unusual but little-remarked outcomes, one Republican County Board of Education member was forced into a competitive runoff with a Democrat while another may have lost outright yesterday to a Democrat, based on the returns so far. Incumbents John Witt (District 1) and Jerry Rindone (District 2) were challenged by Gregg Robinson and Lyn Neylon, respectively. A Democratic incumbent who was on the ballot, Mark Anderson (District 4), easily won re-election.
• In one of the night's most closely followed contests -- and one still too close to call -- two Democratic candidates in the 52nd Congressional District showed their strength vying to compete against Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray. Combined, Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña won more votes than Bilbray in the newly redrawn district, which Barack Obama won by 13 points in 2008.
The County Democratic Party will continue to register, inform, and engage San Diego voters this summer in preparation for the presidential election.