By Mario Koran
Political underdogs raise little money and score few endorsements, compared with their more competitive opponents. But the thing about underdogs is that they pull off the occasional upset.
Lori Saldaña did, when she ran for state Assembly. In fact, she credits her win in that race, in part, to the fact that her opponents got so busy throwing mud at each other that they overlooked her. Saldaña again finds herself the underdog in her mayoral race against incumbent Kevin Faulconer.
Then there’s Kevin Melton, who’s running for state Assembly against City Councilman Todd Gloria. Melton has reported very little cash raised and few endorsements compared with Gloria.
Melton, though, said he doesn’t consider himself an underdog at all.
“I’m able to relate with all sides and all people. So those people who need to come over who are fiscally conservative, socially moderate – they will vote my way,” Melton told Sara Libby and Ry Rivard on the latest episode of San Diego Decides.
• Andy Keatts singles out a particular brand of underdog in his latest column on the state of San Diego elections.
The year was 1991. Prince was on top of the charts, Bob Filner was on the City Council. And, for the last time since, an incumbent City Council member was defeated in an election.
“In the 25 years since Stallings’ victory, there’s been one path to the Council: an open seat,” Keatts writes in his biweekly column that comes out alongside each episode of the San Diego Decides podcast.
It’s a daunting streak facing this year’s crop of Council candidates running against incumbents, including Democratic challengers Justin Decesare and Jose Caballero, who will face off against incumbent Republican Scott Sherman in a race for District 7.
• In another Council race, KPBS finds Chris Ward and Anthony Bernal, the two candidates vying to replace City Councilman Todd Gloria, have a lot in common.
“Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward have few distinctions between where they stand on issues. Instead, each argues he’s the most qualified based on his experience,” reports KPBS.
Chicano Park Activists Want a Museum to Call Their Own
“Tommie Camarillo was under the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge in Barrio Logan in 1970, protesting for a dozen days with community members who occupied land that was about to become a California Highway Patrol station,” Kinsee Morlan writes in a new story.
The collective of effort of residents like Camarillo paid off. Chicano Park was created on that plot of land. And Camarillo has documented its changes ever since. Now, she and Josephine Talamantez, a member of the park’s steering committee, want a permanent spot for Camarillo’s archives, and think a brick building at 1960 National Ave. should work nicely as a museum and visitor’s center.
The San Diego Community College District recently vacated the building, and Talamantez says the city verbally promised the building would return to the park, long ago. Without anything in writing, though, the city could still consider offers from other organizations interested in using the space.
Quick News Hits
• This month, The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association signed a lease with the city for one of the lots left behind by the end of the state’s redevelopment program in 2012, reports KPBS. San Diego’s redevelopment agency had planned to improve the lot on the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Central Avenue, but didn’t get to it before the state killed the program off.
• Scripps Health and a binational company are joining forces to create a new hospital that the groups hope will serve the growing number of Southern Californians who prefer to get medical care south of the border, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
• San Diego is one of the top regions in the country when it comes to patents, inewsource reports.
Social Media Goodies
Dave Roberts went on the new “Tonight in San Diego” show and answers tough questions like who in his district makes the best burrito. The OB Rag has more on the show (sadly, they offer no clarity on the pressing burrito matter).
Written by Mario Koran
Mario asks questions and writes stories about San Diego schools. Reach him directly at 619.325.0531, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org .