San Diego Republican Amy Reichert finished a strong second in Tuesday’s special primary vote to replace the existentially disgraced Nathan Fletcher as fourth district county supervisor.
Reichert will now face current Sand Diego City Councilmember Monica Montogomery Steppe in the runoff vote on November 7.
Steppe received 40% of the primary vote with Reichart tallying 29%. There were two other candidates as well – Democrat Jenessa Goldbeck got about 25% and Republican Paul McQuigg trailed the field with about 5%.
One of Reichert’s main issues is the idea of a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax system. Proponents claim VMT taxes will reduce congestion and are fiscally fair (in theory, they replace the tax paid at the pump – in fact they will almost certainly not) because they charge people directly by how much they drive. This is false but it hasn’t stopped the local transportation overlord agency – the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) – from pursuing the plan.
“As I’ve connected with fellow citizens across our district, it’s clear: the resounding voices of San Diegans are against the burden of a mileage tax,” Reichert said. “The departure of SANDAG’s CEO amplifies the significance of this race, and I am committed to championing the change we need. When elected, I pledge to drive out the mileage tax and steer us toward a road of progress and prosperity.”
Reichert also believes her approach to the issue of homelessness did resonate with voters in the primary and will resonate with voters in the fall.
“The homeless crisis is a heart-wrenching issue, made more complex by unproductive wasteful government approaches. Despite electing similar leaders and investing billions in ‘Housing First,’ the crisis persists as this approach lacks funding for treatment and recovery programs,” Reichert said. “My strategy, ‘Shelter First, with treatment,’ prioritizes human lives over people sleeping on the streets and compassion and action. We cannot continue to just throw billions of dollars at the problem and expect different results.”
The state of the state, that sense of angst among Californians that nothing seems quite right and the Golden State has lost its luster in the past few years:
The dream has turned into the whimper of a Hollywood addict, once famous and feted, now foaming and footless, eyes tracking the sidewalk, hungrily looking for even a glimmer of recognition in the faces that swim by quietly, faces desperately negating the man who could once do anything who now can do nothing except remember and beg.
“The California Whimper” is a focus of Reichert’s.
“We are at a crossroads in San Diego’s history. Will we become like San Francisco and Los Angeles or will we protect San Diegans from failed politicians and their bad policies?” asks Reichert. “My dedication remains unwavering to the constituents of District 4: safety and security are paramount. While my opponent may advocate for defunding the police and diminishing law enforcement resources, I stand firm against such misguided measures. As we witness crime surging across our state the path we take right here and right now in San Diego matters greatly. I am committed to preserving our community’s well-being with a common-sense strategy.”
It will not be an easy road to November for Reichert. The district – which includes San Diego proper east of the 5 and runs out through El Cajon to Rancho San Diego – is about 50% Democrat. An analysis of Tuesday’s vote shows even though the two Democrats got about 65% of the vote combined, the independent or “decline to state” vote – about 22% of voters – split about evenly between the two Democrat and two Republicans.
Turnout was only 20% – dismal, but not unexpected for a standalone summer special election. For district four voters in November, the Steppe/Reichert contest will be the only thing on the ballot, which could mean turnout will stay relatively low. This could benefit Reichert – who has a very committed base – or the union-backed Steppe who can rely on labor activist support.
Currently, the county Board of Supervisors is split, with two Republicans and two Democrats; the result of the District 4 race, therefore, will have a huge impact on San Diego politics.
Reichert is very hopeful for November and said San Diegans are ready for a new voice:
“If you’re tired of the same old status quo, if you’re tired of politicians who talk but don’t act, then it’s time for a change.”
P.S. – Unlike every global warming fanatic ever, Amy Reichert actually used the word “existentially” correctly.
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