Dababneh in extremely tight race in AD-45 special
by Brian Leubitz
Apparently the phrase “playing with house money” has caught fire in San Diego. David Alvarez has a solid hold of a San Diego council seat and a bright future no matter what the outcome of the mayoral election. But now he is the Democratic hope to defeat the somewhat reactionary Kevin Faulconer in the February 11 runoff.
Faulconer led a field of 12 candidates in Tuesday’s special election with 43.58 percent of the vote, with vote by mail ballots and all 581 precincts counted, according to figures released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
Alvarez finished 2,638 votes ahead of former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the race for second. He received 52,283 votes, 25.59 percent of the vote, and Fletcher 49,645, 24.3 percent. (News10)
Though there are still some early and provisional votes outstanding, it seems unlikely that Fletcher will overcome Alvarez. And with that, some are saying that this could be the end of Nathan Fletcher’s political career. While it is possible to make a political comeback, the timing of this mayoral election wasn’t really great for Fletcher. He kind of had to run, with his new Democratic label and high visibility. But, he never really had the time to win over the Democratic base.
And that is where Alvarez came in. He was the biggest beneficiary of attacks in many mediums against Fletcher, but now he’ll be going head to head with Faulconer. At some level, maybe the Republicans were more worried about facing Fletcher in a run-off, but their personal dislike of the man than many considered a “turncloak” was very strong. And the wounds were still fresh from that switch. Maybe time will heal some wounds, but don’t expect a quick turnaround of Fletcher’s political fortunes.
In another race in Southern California, Democrat Matt Dababneh (and Rep. Brad Sherman’s district director) is locked in a way too close race with Republican Susan Shelley. With all precincts reporting, Dababneh holds a 13,309-13,136 lead with some provisionals and early votes still out. The district is heavily Democratic, but turnout was once again very low allowing Shelley to make a strong showing. The results in this one are likely to need a while to settle out. A Dababneh win would be the 54th Democratic seat, and return the supermajority that took its most recent hit with Holly Mitchell’s move to the Senate.
UPDATE: Fletcher just conceded the race and endorsed Alvarez.