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Election night: Republicans winning in district 1 and 7 Council races; runoffs still in sight

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With more than half of all ballots counted, it appears that two San Diego City Council district seats, though by law nonpartisan positions, have a chance of switching party representation.

As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and with 59.2 percent of precincts reporting, Republican business owner Scott Sherman held 51.1 percent of the while his Democrat competitor, former union employee Mat Kostrinsky, trailed with 39.2 percent. If Sherman's 50 percent-plus lead holds through the night, he will become the replacement to Democrat City Councilwoman Marti Emerald without need for a November runoff election.

Early in the night at Golden Hall, after mail-in ballots had shown a similar difference between the two, Kostrinsky said he believed he wouldn't be eliminated from the race that quickly, predicting a runoff.

"I feel very good about the election," Kostrinsky said. "The voters that you see voting for the other candidates will actually be voting for me."

He also said the "Karl Rove tactics" of the Sherman campaign didn't work.

"They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars; they said things that were not true about me, and this is the result," Kostrinski added.

Kostrinsky’s campaign became subject to some criticism recently when a video posted on the Internet seemed to conflict with his record of union work. Kostrinski had previously worked as deputy director of government and community relations working at the San Diego chapter of Service Employees International Union, SEIU. But in a January forum, a member of the forum audience recorded a video of him saying he had never worked for SEIU. His campaign has backtracked from the statement by explaining that he was referring to working for the national arm of the organization.

If Sherman’s lead holds, District 7, which will no longer be represented by Emerald because of redistricting, could be an imbalance-buster on the San Diego City Council.

The four Council seats not up for re-election Tuesday are split 2-2, Republican to Democrat. Although the Council is by law nonpartisan, the philosophical make-up of it is at stake, as two of the other four seats up for grabs Tuesday include strong Democratic candidates -- Emerald in District 9 and Sherri Lightner in District 1.

With 40.9 percent of the precincts reporting, Lightner trailed her main Republican rival, businessman Ray Ellis by a tally of 44.5 percent to 42.7 percent. With more than 50 percent of precincts in, Emerald led her challenger, Mateo Camarillo, with 74 percent of the vote.

In two uncontested races, Councilman Todd Gloria, a Democrat, will be re-elected to his seat in District 3, and business owner Mark Kersey will take the District 5 seat currently occupied by Councilman and San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio.

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City of San Diego

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San Diego, CA 92101

City of San Diego Executive(s):

Sherri Lightner

  • Council President Pro Tem

Kevin Faulconer

  • Mayor

Todd Gloria

  • Council President

Myrtle Cole

  • City Council Member

Mark Kersey

  • City Council Member

Lorie Zapf

  • City Council Member

Scott Sherman

  • City Council Member

David Alvarez

  • City Council Member

Marti Emerald

  • City Council Member

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