Primary election fallout

The kaleidoscopic drama of Election Day has come and gone. What next?

52nd Congressional.

Democrat Scott Peters

(22.5 percent) apparently edged former Dem Assemblywoman Lori Saldana (21) by the narrowest of margins, with provisional ballots still being counted. The winner faces Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray (41) in November in a swing-district race that will attract tons of outside money. After a hard-fought campaign, I’m urging Lori and her supporters to endorse Scott and campaign for him.

San Diego mayor.

Democratic Congressman Bob Filner (30 percent) bested party-less Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (24) for second place and the chance to face Republican budget hawk and union basher Councilman Carl DeMaio (32) in November.

SD Council.

Democratic incumbent Sherri Lightner (41 percent) ran second to her main Republican challenger Ray Ellis (46), largely because the increasingly well-organized opponents of the One Paseo proposal don’t trust her to stand up to the developers. I endorsed Lightner. I think she will put up more resistance than Ellis. I hope supporters of progressive Democrat Brian Pease and project opponent Dennis Ridz will now rally to Lightner’s flag – and lobby her intensely for a radically scaled-back project. If Ellis wins, the council will have a developer-backed Republican majority for the first time in many years.

My vision for the highest and best use of the 23-acre Carmel Valley property: Create a 20-acre LAKE with swimming, boating, miles of heavily landscaped walking, hiking, and biking trails, and maybe three waterfront restaurants and a small hotel. Let the negotiations begin!


Centrist Democrat Dave Roberts (32 percent) ran almost even with Bilbray Republican Steve Danon (33) for the first open county board seat in decades. I hope Carl Hilliard, who finished third, will endorse Roberts and announce, early on, that he will not seek a third term on the Del Mar council in November. Carl, now 76, has had eight good years. It’s time for new leaders. New leaders are less likely to step forward if there is a possibility Carl would run again.


I endorsed Garland Peed. His opponent Gary Kreep, rated as “lacking qualifications” by the county bar, is an agent of the religious right and a voice of the “birther” movement. At this writing, the race is too close to call. I have never believed it made sense for judges to be elected rather than appointed. Here’s why: Another extremist stealth candidate within reach of the local bench.

BTW: A life lesson from my father: “Never make fun of a person’s name. It’s a cheap shot.” Dad, sometimes the temptation is great.

Gordon Clanton teaches sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at