Morning Report: How the Race for Sheriff Has Changed

For the last half-century, the role of San Diego County sheriff has been filled by only a few people. The races were rarely competitive and on occasion the incumbent ran unchallenged.

The styles and personalities of the sheriff have changed over the decades, but they all had one thing in common. They were members of the GOP.

Surveying the election this time around, Jesse Marx writes that it’s entirely possible the next sheriff will not be a Republican. Undersheriff Kelly Martinez has the support of most high-profile Democrats and the deputy’s union, while Dave Myers, a retired commander, has the official support of the Democratic Party. The only candidate with Republican support is John Hemmerling, a prosecutor who was a registered independent for at least part of last year.

In fact, all three of the leading contenders have been a Republican at some point in their lives, a shift that mirrors the region’s changing partisanship and demographics. In less than a generation, the city and county have gone from red to blue.

But as one professor of political science noted, a shift in party representation doesn’t always equate to a shift in underlying ideology. The upcoming race will be a test of whether the decline of GOP influence locally produces a less law-and-order-type candidate.

Read the story about the race in its entirety here.

Supervisor Joel Anderson Wants County to Clear Magnolia Encampment

Gerald (Gerry) Kostiha eats a grapefruit while sitting on a chair outside his tent on March 8, 2022 near El Cajon, CA. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

In a letter to county leaders, Supervisor Joel Anderson requested the county begin to clear a homeless encampment on North Magnolia Avenue in an unincorporated portion of El Cajon. He cited a recent US Court of Appeals decision that supported Caltrans’ clearing of a Berkeley homeless encampment and called for similar action to be taken at the Magnolia encampment.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs argued those living in the Berkeley encampment were not being offered anywhere else to go, and that the move may end up disconnecting them from the services they received at the encampment and ultimately losing the progress they’d made toward finding housing .

The Magnolia encampment has been in the news off and on for months. Voice of San Diego intern Jakob McWhinney spent time with many of its residents and wrote about their experiences in a March story that detailed the county’s push to direct more resources and services to homeless residents in East County.

Click here to continue reading about Anderson’s request to clear the encampment.

Races to Watch in North County

Voting for the June Primary elections is underway.

Voters in North County will have to wait until November to weigh in on key local races like city council seats and ballot measures, but there are some major assembly, state senate and congressional races that North County voters are keeping an eye on.

Republican Pat Bates is termed out of the 38th State Senate District and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear wants to take his place. The Democrat is running against two Republican candidates and if she makes it to the Nov. 8 runoffs, she could flip the district.

Click here for a roundup of all the races that will be impacting North County cities.

For a countywide breakdown of major local and state races, read Voice’s Primary Election Guide.

In Other News

  • In the ongoing dystopian nightmare of rising living costs, median home sales have now topped $1 million for the first time ever. A realtor gave NBC 7 a tour of a standard-issue home in Spring Valley that just sold for more than a million. Five years ago, houses on the street were selling for $650,000. (NBC 7)
  • A City College grad is heading to space. Katya Echazarreta will be the first Mexican-born woman to go to space. Echazarreta has worked at NASA the past four years, but she will be part of one of Jeff Bezos’ missions to space. (NBC 7)
  • The Union-Tribune had a rundown of a debate between five candidates vying to represent one of San Diego City Council’s coastal districts. Several of the candidates tried to reopen San Diego’s vacation rental debate and attacked incumbent Jen Campbell on her record of her. (Union-Tribune)
  • Russia was behind a cyberattack on Carlsbad-based Viasat at the state of the war in Ukraine, according to US and European officials. Viasat controls a satellite internet network. (Reuters)

This Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Jakob McWhinney, Will Huntsberry and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Megan Wood and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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