Lightner and Roberts get my voteBottom Highlights, Politically Aware Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Commentary: Politically Aware
When last week’s Return on Investment Analysis put Scott Peters at No. 1, there was a close second: Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.
Lightner, the Democratic incumbent councilmember from District 1, has been a solid advocate of LGBT issues on the City Council, and has the endorsements of elected LGBT officials including Councilman Todd Gloria and Assemblywoman Toni Atkins. Lightner now has Politically Aware’s endorsement in her attempt to fend off a challenge from Republican Ray Ellis, who bested her by four points in the June primary. Helping Lightner narrow that gap will be the more Democratic electorate, typically found in the November of a presidential year, and endorsements from primary candidates Bryan Pease and Dennis Ridz, who took nearly 13 percent of the vote in June. The state of the race is less clear than Peters’ due to limited polling, but it could be nearly as close.
For San Diegans, the stakes of the race are perhaps even higher. A Lightner win keeps the City Council under Democratic control; a loss hands the reigns to Republicans. With a competitive mayoral race, control of the Council is more important than ever. Should Councilman Carl DeMaio prevail in the mayoral race, Lightner could be all that stands between San Diego and radically conservative policies, particularly on labor issues, that would make it the “Wisconsin of the West.”
Lightner also scores high on the equality return on investment index because city law limits contributions to $500, meaning smaller donations have a larger impact in the race.
Also getting a Politically Aware endorsement is Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts, who is running for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in District 3. As with Lightner’s race, polling is sparse, but the two point spread between Roberts and his opponent, Steve Danon, in the primary suggest this one could be close. Adding to the intrigue is Roberts’ cross party endorsement from the retiring Republican incumbent, Pam Slater-Price.
A Dave Roberts victory would shatter a number of glass ceilings. Though he would be the second supervisor, Roberts would be the first new face on the board since 1995, the first Democrat in 17 years and the first openly gay supervisor in County history.
Unfortunately, each of those firsts comes with “and only” so Roberts would have his work cut out for him on progressive issues.
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