So many races, so little time....

In previous columns, I endorsed Bob Filner (San Diego mayor), Dave Roberts (county supervisor), and Scott Peters (Congress).

Sherri Lightner for San Diego City Council.

The big issue for Del Mar Heights and Carmel Valley is the Kilroy project, One Paseo, a massive shopping center and residential tower complex proposed for the 23 undeveloped acres on the southwest corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real in Carmel Valley. If built as proposed, this development would bring to I-5 at Del Mar Heights Road the kind of traffic now associated with the La Jolla Village Drive junctions with I-5 and 805.

Democratic incumbent Lightner probably will meet Republican Ray Ellis in November. The wild card is Republican Dennis Ridz, chair of the Torrey Pines Community Planning Group, campaigning on the basis of his staunch opposition to One Paseo. Ridz supporters point out that Lightner has taken contributions from the One Paseo developers.

Unlike her challenger, Lightner is legally prohibited from taking a public position on a proposal that will come before the council, but she has good environmental credentials. She worked with the community to reduce the impacts of the redevelopment of the Flower Hill Mall. She has never gone against the recommendations of a local community planning group. She wants to hear from the community on One Paseo. The process is just beginning.

Regarding the commonplace of contributions to an incumbent from developers, I am reminded of a debt-retirement party after Bob Filner was re-elected to the San Diego council in 1991. Developers who had opposed his election were literally stuffing checks into Filner’s jacket pockets. Later when I marveled at this, Bob winked and said, in effect, “Anyone who can’t take a check from a guy and then vote against his project doesn’t belong in politics.”

So I am endorsing Dennis Ridz for One-Paseo gadfly/ombudsman and Sherri Lightner for city council. And I am calling on the community to get informed and to let Sherri know how we feel about this development that clearly threatens our quality of life.

Marty Block for state Senate.

After two terms in the California Assembly, Block, a Democrat, is looking to move into the Senate seat of termed-out Christine Kehoe. Marty, who taught and administered at SDSU and served ably on the San Diego Community College board, is one of the best elected officials I have ever known — smart, progressive, personable, great communicator, good listener, politically savvy, the complete package.

Gordon Clanton teaches Sociology at San Diego State University.

He welcomes comments at