Countywide political merry-go-round


By Gordon Clanton

Countywide, a complex game of political musical chairs is playing out. Congressman

Bob Filner

was elected mayor of San Diego in November. State Senator

Juan Vargas

, whom Filner had defeated three times, then won Filner’s congressional seat. Assemblyman

Ben Hueso

then took Vargas’s senate spot. Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez is among those now seeking Hueso’s assembly seat.

Meanwhile, San Diego Councilman

Tony Young

resigned to become local head of the American Red Cross.

Myrtle Cole


Dwayne Crenshaw

will meet soon in a special election to determine Young’s successor – and the balance of power on the council. Filner has endorsed Cole.

So much for the intention of the term-limits movement to put an end to “career politicians.” BTW: Legislative term limits is still a bad idea, the source of much of the dysfunction in Sacramento. We don’t have a problem with “career doctors,” “career lawyers,” or “career mechanics.” Only in politics do we assume that experience is not the best teacher, that the novice can do it better than the professionals.

Although San Diego’s Fourth District includes more Hispanics and more Asians than African Americans, it has long been represented by black men, beginning in 1969 with “Living Legend”

Leon Williams

— so designated by Mayor Filner at his inauguration. More recent D-4 representatives have been disappointing — parochial, self-interested, inclined to nepotism.

Closer to home, Republican Supervisor

Bill Horn

will seek re-election in 2014. Once again Horn’s campaign will be managed by super-consultant (and former boy mayor of Del Mar)

Tom Shepard

. Shepard, who mostly has worked for Republicans, recently helped elect Democratic Mayor Filner. Horn, first elected in 1995, is term-limited to one more four-year term.

Encinitas Councilwoman

Kristen Gaspar

will challenge Republican incumbent

Darrell Issa

in the 2014 congressional primary.


Dave Roberts

or his staffer

Adam Kaye

will meet with voters every third Friday, 3-5 p.m., at the Del Mar Community Building, 225 Ninth Street.

Outsiders often think of San Diego as a Republican town, but Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in the city of San Diego since the 1990s. For many years, San Diego County had a Republican majority, but now Democrats outnumber Republicans countywide. For many years, Del Mar was the only city in North San Diego County with a Democratic majority, but, although

Barack Obama

carried Del Mar with 53 percent of the vote, Republicans now outnumber Democrats by 17. Not 17 percent. 17 voters. There goes the neighborhood.

Gordon Clanton teaches Sociology at San Diego State University.

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