It’s primary timeBottom Highlights, Politically Aware Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Commentary: Politically Aware
With the California primary fast approaching, it’s time to make you “Politically Aware” about the June races.
Republican presidential primary: Donald Trump will win California and be the nominee. Conservatives who want to win are falling in line. Others are flailing as the try to save the Senate majority against a Trump debacle.
Democratic presidential primary: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a polling edge over Sen. Bernie Sanders. Win or lose, Clinton will best Sanders in the pledged delegates, though she may need superdelegates to clinch the nomination.
California Senate: Democrats are lining up behind California Attorney General Kamala Harris to succeed liberal firebrand Sen. Barbara Boxer. [Personal note: Sen. Boxer wondered in my presence why the “No on 8” campaign made ads with Sen. Dianne Feinstein instead of her. Boxer’s point …”I’m your girl.” She’ll be missed.]
U.S. House of Representatives: Despite issues over his campaign spending, Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. seems likely to make it through to November. So do Reps. Issa, Vargas and Davis. The swing district is the 52nd, where disorganized Republican opposition is making Rep. Scott Peters a sure bet to survive the June primary, and a good bet for a third term in November.
Mayor of San Diego: Neither Independent Lori Saldana nor Democrat Ed Harris have really caught on, leaving Mayor Kevin Faulconer a favorite to win with a majority in June. If he can’t get 51 percent in the primary, Saldana or Harris have much better odds in November.
City Attorney: Alleged non-partisanship aside, there is one Republican (Robert Hickey) running against four Democrat/Progressives (Gil Cabrera, Rafael Castellanos, Mara Elliot, Brian Pease). Hickey will almost certainly face a November challenge, but from whom? Democratic endorsers are split among the candidates, while conservative mailers suggest they want to run against Castellanos.
City Council: The even districts break even, with Democrats in 4 and 8, and Republicans in 2 and 6. Odd number districts are up in 2016:
District 1: Council President Sherri Lightner lost the 2012 Primary to Ray Ellis, but beat him in the November election. Ellis returns for a similar fight plan; if he can’t get over 50 percent in June, the Democrat who comes in second, most likely Barbara Bry, will win in November.
District 3: Most of the LGBT community is behind Chris Ward. Anthony Bernal has the support of Papa Doug Manchester and Mayor Faulconer. Ward is the current favorite, but the last shoe to drop, Councilmember Gloria’s endorsement, could shake up the race.
District 5: Councilmember Kersey is cruising.
District 7: Councilmember Scott Sherman won in June 2012 by a razor thin margin. Among Democrats, Justin DeCesare is running in the middle while Jose Caballeros is running to the left. If Sherman doesn’t get a majority in June, he could face a stiff test in November, particularly from DeCesare, a moderate veteran who fits the district well.
District 9: Which Democrat will win? For the moment, Ricardo Flores has the role of moderate, while Sarah Saez has labor and Georgette Gomez is the Sandersesque progressive. If Flores can’t win in June, November should be an interesting intra-party battle.
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