With nearly all ballots counted two weeks after Election Day, San Diego Democrats scored some major successes despite record-low turnout and a rough political climate.
Fully 64% of the local candidates endorsed by the San Diego County Democratic Party won their races. As a result, Democrats will pick up new mayorships and gain seats and majorities on city councils and school boards in every part of the county.
"The Republican tide that swept the country stopped short of San Diego," said County Party Chair Francine Busby. "We were disappointed to have some great candidates lose in hard-fought races on Election Day, but a strong majority of our Democratic team prevailed."
In addition to helping to reelect Congressman Scott Peters in the region's highest-profile contest, here are a few highlights that have local Democrats cheering:
- Picked up new mayorships in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach
- Added city council seats in Oceanside, Encinitas, and Lemon Grove
- Gained several council majorities due to the results above
- Turned S.D. Unified and Chula Vista Elementary School Boards all-Democratic
- Elected four out of five new Sweetwater Union High School Board members
- Won two seats and a new majority on the Poway Unified High School Board
- Added a seat on the MiraCosta Community College Board
- Picked up four seats and a majority on the Palomar Health Board
- Helped defeat a Tea Party-aligned candidate for Superior Court Judge
The race for Chula Vista City Council is now exactly tied between Democrat Steve Padilla and Republican John McCann -- making a recount all but certain.
And in a testament to the incumbent governor's popularity and San Diego County's leftward electoral trend, Jerry Brown was the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate to win here in 16 years.
The County Democratic organization worked against this year's national headwind with a robust field program involving coordinated campaign offices, hundreds of canvassers, and personalized slate mail pieces sent to 250,000 Democratic households countywide.
The local Party also worked with the Democratic National Committee to deploy cutting-edge voter data and technology in support of dozens of downballot candidates.
"From our volunteers, donors, and other supporters to our outstanding candidates and elected officials, San Diego County Democrats have a lot to be proud of in this year's results," added Party Chair Busby. "Now we're looking forward to even greater gains in 2016."