By TINA RYNBERG and JEFF BENESCH
For the first time in modern political history, California’s March 3 primary election will have a significant bearing on the presidential race. With our state being the biggest part of Super Tuesday, at the end of the evening, the delegate count and prospective leader should be in much sharper focus.
There are also very important congressional outcomes to examine, including our two local races, the 53rd Congressional District and the oh-so-contentious 50th in East County. Who will end up being Ammar Campa Najjar’s November opponent? We also have many local races of interest: The county supervisorial contests; the countywide measures A and B, which deal with building in the backcountry; the San Diego City Council race in District 7, which affects many of our club members; the mayor’s race in San Diego with club favorites Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria going toe to toe; and San Diego city attorney, which pits incumbent Mara Elliiott against Cory Briggs, among others. There are a host of state Assembly races of interest, including our own Shirley Weber in the 79th, and some key judgeships up for grabs, with many of the candidates appearing before our membership looking for support. The only race without drama appears to be for our state Senate seat in District 39, with club favorite Toni Atkins running unopposed.
On Wednesday night, March 4, the day after our California primary, the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will lean on a team of experts to give us their best analysis of the ballot results, why certain races trended the way they did, and who will face whom on the November ballot. We’ve confirmed the appearance of the head of the county Democratic Party, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, who should have keen insights as to what went right, or wrong for certain local candidates and whether county party-endorsed candidates and measures succeeded per slate recommendations.
We lined up the services of talented lawyer and pundit Matt Strabone to moderate our discussion, and if you’ve caught Matt’s regular podcast, “Show in Progress,” you know he’s got a keen sense of the San Diego political scene and is a skilled interviewer. We invited our popular and returning political science professor Carl Luna to weigh in on the national, state and regional races. And also hope that past county chairs, and keen political minds in their own right, Jess Durfee and Jessica Hayes, will join the political gabfest.
The meeting starts promptly at 7 p.m. after our half-hour social time featuring snacks, salads, desserts and beverages supplied by the club and member donations. The forum will follow shortly thereafter and we generally adjourn by 8:30 p.m. We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa and everyone is welcomed. For more information about the event or about joining the club, visit lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com.
—Tina Ryneberg is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming for the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.