Election ‘22: Lukacs, Campbell look set for City Council runoff; plus SDUSD District C and 50th Congressional
Here are early results from the June 7 primary election in races in districts including Point Loma and Ocean Beach: San Diego City Council District 2, the San Diego Unified School District’s District C and the 50th Congressional District. For other races, visit sandiegouniontribune.com or sdvote.com.
City Council District 2
Republican Linda Lukacs looks likely to make it to the November general election against incumbent Democrat Jennifer Campbell in District 2, one of the most intense area races in the primary.
Lukacs, the only Republican in the six-candidate field, leads former state Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña by a substantial margin for second place in early returns.
Campbell is ahead of both of them and seems certain to secure the first slot in the Nov. 8 runoff. Campbell had just under 31 percent of the vote, with Lukacs at just over 25 percent and Saldaña with just over 18 percent. The top two vote-getters will advance.
Joel Day was in fourth place, followed by Mandy Havlik and Daniel Smiechowski. Day had nearly 13 percent of the vote, Havlik just over 8 percent and Smiechowski nearly 5 percent.
One of the highest-profile local races in the June 7 primary features three Democrats with very different kinds of broad support challenging Dr.
After the first batch of results was posted, Campbell said she expects to face Lukacs in the fall.
“While there remains many votes still to be counted, it appears that voters will have a very clear choice in November,” she said.
Lukacs said the community is “fed up and they want change. That’s why the incumbent got less than one-third of the vote and that’s why I’m going to win in November.”
A Democrat-vs.-Republican race would seem to favor Campbell because District 2 has about 41,000 registered Democrats, about 24,000 registered Republicans and about 24,000 voters who declined to state a party preference.
But Campbell faced an unsuccessful recall campaign last year spurred by her handling of vacation rental legislation and complaints that her staff was unusually unresponsive to residents.
And District 2 is volatile. Only two incumbents have lost San Diego City Council races since 1992, but one of those instances was when Campbell ousted incumbent Lorie Zapf in 2018 — the last time the seat was up for election.
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The district also has been redrawn since Campbell was elected. To account for demographic changes revealed in the 2020 U.S. Census, Pacific Beach was shifted out while eastern Clairemont and Old Town were shifted in.
This year’s highly competitive race has become a sort of referendum on whether dense development should be allowed in San Diego’s coastal neighborhoods.
Challengers say Campbell is too pro-development and that her strong support from business leaders and labor groups shows she doesn’t care about residents.
Campbell, 76, a doctor who lives in Bay Ho, says she essentially only supports dense development near the sports arena in the Midway District because that area is ripe for a makeover and because development and more density are necessary to alleviate the city’s affordable-housing crisis. But she contends she wants to preserve coastal character.
However, she supports the city’s recent loosening of regulations for accessory dwelling units, which her opponents have criticized.
Lukacs, 58, a dentist who lives in Sunset Cliffs, says she wants development to be accompanied by the infrastructure necessary to support it. For example, she wants new housing in the sports arena area to come with additional freeway interchanges and road upgrades.
Attack mailers part of a volatile campaign for District 2 council seat.
Saldaña, a longtime critic of developer influence at City Hall, faced a series of attack mailers in the campaign funded by an independent committee supporting Campbell.
Day, a former City Hall official who now works as a lecturer, created detailed proposals during the campaign intended to solve a variety of city problems, including homelessness.
Havlik, a member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, ran on preserving neighborhood character along the coast.
Campbell led the race in heavyweight endorsements, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and local members of Congress Scott Peters and Sara Jacobs.
SDUSD District C
Cody Petterson was leading in early results in the primary race for the San Diego Unified School District board seat that covers the western part of the district, with Becca Williams in second place and Lily Higman in third. The top two vote-getters will advance to the November general election.
Petterson, a government affairs manager, had 45 percent of the votes; Williams, a curriculum company manager, had 32 percent; and Higman, a parent of three children at Pacific Beach Middle and Mission Bay High schools, had 23 percent.
Current District C trustee Michael McQuary did not run for reelection.
Three people are running for the San Diego Unified School District board to fill the District C seat being vacated by incumbent Michael McQuary.
Petterson, who has two children attending Torrey Pines Elementary School in La Jolla, said he wants to use the school board position to advocate for more state and federal funding for public schools and help schools adapt to the financial pains of declining enrollment.
Williams, who has two young children not old enough for K-12 school, said she wants the district to focus on the basics of improving students’ reading and math proficiency and has voiced concerns about how the district teaches other topics, such as ethnic studies.
Williams raised the most campaign money of the District C candidates — $67,798, including a $5,000 loan from herself, and spent $33,540.
Petterson received the endorsement of the San Diego Unified teachers union, which had spent $80,500 on mailers and digital ads for him as of May 21.
50th Congressional District
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-La Jolla) had a big lead for the top spot in the primary election for the 50th Congressional District seat, while Republican Corey Gustafson was comfortably in second place, setting up a race between the two in November.
Peters had 53.5 percent of the vote in early returns and Gustafson had 30.5 percent, followed by candidates Kylie Taitano (8 percent), David Chiddick (5 percent) and Adam Schindler (3 percent).
The 50th Congressional District primary race features longtime Democratic Rep.
The 50th Congressional District is a new district drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission based on the
2020 Census. It includes much of the area in the former 52nd District, which Peters has represented since taking office in 2013.
Gustafson, a business owner and educator from Escondido, says his top domestic priorities are stopping inflation, creating jobs and reducing crime.
Peters says his top domestic priorities include investment in scientific research and military infrastructure, veterans assistance and fighting climate change and cross-border pollution.