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The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

California’s primary election: The UCSD Guardian breaks down the ballot

Photo by Michelle Deng/ UCSD Guardian

California voters will head to the polls on March 5 to vote in the California primary. In California, all races aside from the presidential race are run in what is called a “Jungle” primary, in which candidates from all parties compete with one another. The top two finishers in this primary election advance to the general election, regardless of whether or not they are from the same party.

Registered voters should have already received their ballots in the mail. However, eligible citizens can register to vote up to and even on election day. Voters have several options for how to submit their ballot. They can go to an in-person vote center or a dropbox, or they can mail in their ballot as long as it is postmarked by March 5. More information can be found on the California Secretary of State’s website.

You can find information on local dropboxes and voting centers at the San Diego Registrar of Voter’s website

The following is a breakdown of some of the major local races San Diego voters will see for the March 5 primary:

San Diego House of Representatives District 50 Election

  • Scott Peters (incumbent)
  • Timothy Bilash
  • Peter Bono
  • Solomon David Moss

Candidates for San Diego’s 50th congressional district (CA-50) for the 119th Congress include the incumbent, Scott Peters, along with Timothy Bilash, Peter Bono, and Solomon David Moss. Upcoming primaries will register all candidates as nonpartisans.

Current Rep. Scott Peters seeks re-election in CA-50 for his seventh term in Congress. His voting patterns in Congress mirror Democratic leadership, having previously sponsored bills aiding small businesses and incentives for technological innovations in carbon capture. His 2024 campaign does the same.

“[This election, there’s] an important point in the nation’s response to climate change,” Peters said to CBS 8 San Diego. “Last Congress set aside over $360 billion to incentivize changes in the economy and to build [infrastructure] that would address climate change … We have to [reduce emissions faster] with hydrogen pipelines, off-shore wind, wind farms.”

Challenger, newcomer, and small business owner Solomon David Moss aligns with Peters’ prioritization of climate change. The candidate posted a campaign ad to X on Feb. 13, detailing a bill that would criminalize “hazardous atmospheric activity” by any individual, corporation, or government. 

Moss has additionally commented on Biden’s presidency, specifically on its support of Israel during the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

“With over 15,000 Palestinian children killed in three months, how can any decent person support such a terrorist response? This war proves the U.S. has no leverage with the Israeli government, despite the billions of dollars we send them. All aid to Israel should be cut until they comply with human decency and criminalize their colonial ambitions,” Moss’ website states in a tab under the “Issue” page titled “Palestine/Israel.” 

Dr. Timothy Bilash, an OB-GYN, is structuring his first campaign to focus primarily on healthcare access. According to his campaign website, Dr. Bilash seeks to advance individual health choices through Universal Funding and creating a single-payer healthcare system. He also outlines a plan to protect reproductive rights. Dr. Bilash further aims to remove the U.S. Senate filibuster and instead reincorporate original intent 50%+1 majority decisions during bill procedures.

Peter Bono, a Republican, is a military veteran whose race for Congress centers around providing “Common Sense Representation” to CA-50, as stated by the press release announcing his candidacy. This encompasses the candidate’s primary goals which range from immigration, elder care, and personal property taxes.

“With the rising increase of undocumented foreign nationals flooding our district daily. It is so important to have [the San Diego Police] available. I will never vote to defund these vital services. After I am elected, I will be proposing a 10%-20% pay raise for all local Law Enforcement Officials residing in our 50th District,” Bono states on his website regarding his approach towards public safety enforcement.

As reported by the Federal Electoral Commission, Scott Peters’ campaign has amassed a leading $1.28 million in total receipts, while Dr. Bilash follows with $12,171. The Commission has not processed budgetary or spending inquiries on Moss and Bono.

Primary elections are scheduled for March 5, 2024.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 3 Election

District 3 of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors extends from Little Italy in Downtown San Diego up to Carlsbad in northern San Diego County. La Jolla and UC San Diego fall within District 3’s boundaries. 

Incumbent Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, a Democrat, is running for re-election. Challenging her is former San Diego Mayor and Republican Kevin Faulconer.

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer is an economist, attorney, grassroots organizer, and educator fighting for bold changes to the status quo in San Diego County. A third-generation San Diegan, Terra previously served as Senior Advisor in the Obama Administration,” Lawson-Remer’s website reads.

Her stated priorities are addressing the growing homelessness issue, expanding gun storage laws, protecting abortion access in San Diego County, addressing the climate crisis, and preserving open spaces and natural habitats throughout San Diego.

Faulconer’s stated top issues on his website include public safety, addressing homelessness, fiscal responsibility, and “innovative governing.”

It’s clear our current supervisor has failed us. Look no further for evidence of this than the growing health and public safety crisis of homelessness. It’s time for a leader who will confront this issue head-on, with compassion and practical solutions, as I have done many times before,” Faulconer’s website reads.

San Diego City Attorney Election

  • Brian Maienschein
  • Heather Ferbert

San Diego’s current City Attorney, Mara Elliott, is unable to run for reelection as her term limit has expired after serving as City Attorney for eight years. Running for the position in the 2024 election are two democratic candidates: Heather Ferbert and Brian Maienschein. 

Heather Ferbert is currently the Chief Deputy City Attorney and has been an official in the City Attorney’s office for over a decade. She has also previously served as the attorney for the Housing Commission and several public agencies.

Brian Maienschein, Chair of the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee, held a position in the San Diego City Council for two terms and operated as Homelessness Commissioner of San Diego. 

On her website, Ferbert declares her ‘Top Priorities’ as the following: stopping gun violence, addressing homelessness, and preserving existing housing. Ferbert has proposed launching a Housing Protection Unit to oversee affordable living, promoting its increase and halting “project-killing delays.” No further details have been released on this project. Additionally, Ferbert asserted her commitment to protecting the rights of vulnerable populations, including women’s reproductive freedom following the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“As City Attorney, [I] will always stand up for women whether that means going after domestic abusers, providing support to survivors, or defending the right to choose. [I will] uphold the law equally. Ensure city officials act justly. No political favors,” her website states.

Maienschein coincides with Ferbert’s focus on reproductive justice; he earned a full score on Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California’s Legislative Scorecard in 2023, signaling voting patterns aligned with protecting reproductive procedures.

In regards to his prioritized issues, Maienschein affirms a focus on gun violence, reproductive rights, and public safety, as reported by NBC 7 San Diego. His previous experience in public office indicates the candidate targeting the criminalization of sex trafficking against children, consumer protection, and individualized support for at-risk youth. 

Regarding endorsements, Ferbert is supported by outgoing Maria Elliott, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Editorial Board, the Deputy City Attorneys Association, the Safer California PAC, and the nonprofit organization San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, among others.

Maienschein’s partial list of endorsements includes Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, the San Diego Police Officers Association, the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, the democratic club San Diego Democrats for Equality, and the official San Diego County Democratic Party organization.  

In addition to the upcoming March 5th primary elections, both candidates will participate in a General Election runoff in November.

San Diego Mayoral Election

  • Todd Gloria (Incumbent)
  • Genevieve Jones-Wright
  • Daniel Smiechowski
  • Larry Turner
  • Jane Glasson

San Diego Mayoral Election and How to Vote 

Candidates challenging Mayor Todd Gloria’s race for re-election in the 2024 San Diego mayoral election include Jane Glasson, Genevieve Jones-Wright, Daniel Smiechowski, and Larry Turner. With a re-election win, Mayor Gloria plans to build upon his recently passed housing plan and increase housing availability for working-class, middle-income, and homeless residents of San Diego. 

“Under my leadership, the city has increased its shelter capacity by over 70%. This is in the context of a pandemic and economic and social upheaval,” Mayor Gloria stated. “I want the opportunity to do this job in more normal circumstances.”

Candidates Glassen and Smiechowski have a limited presence and neither have raised significant funds toward their campaign. Former public defender Jones-Wright and San Diego Police community relations officer Turner challenge Mayor Gloria’s housing policies for the homeless. 

Jones-Wright opposes Gloria’s use of police to address homelessness and his camping ban, telling KPBS, “I think what the city has done is it has moved people from one part of the city out of eyesight and onto asphalt and parking lots and that is not a solution.”

Turner expresses his criticisms of Mayor Gloria’s proposal of converting the H Barracks near the San Diego airport into a new homeless shelter. He suggests creating a massive camp for the homeless that is far removed from the city, but no specific location has been provided.

“It’s only going to be around for a few years. I want to see something more permanent,” Turner said regarding Mayor Gloria’s proposal of a homeless shelter that could provide housing for 700 people.

Turner stated in an interview with KPBS that with an election win he also intends to transform downtown San Diego, bringing more money to the city, although any details have yet to be disclosed.

How to Vote

  • UCSD campus ballot box
  • UCSD Vote Center
  • La Jolla Recreation Center

Registered student voters in La Jolla can vote at the La Jolla Recreation Center Auditorium and at the UCSD Price Center Bear and Red Shoe rooms. The on-campus voting center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from Feb. 24-March 5. On election day, the center is open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.. For mail-in ballot submissions, students can visit the campus ballot box located outside of Burger King, at the northeast entrance of the Price Center.

About the Contributors
Carter Castillo
Carter Castillo, Senior Staff Writer
I spent three days agonizing over writing this.
Natalia Montero Acevedo, Staff Writer
A Political Science major, Natalia Montero loves to engage with on-site reporting to connect with communities’ affairs. Be warned, she will bombard you with random facts about whatever book she’s currently reading. She will also make sure to bring up The Sound of Music, Mitski, and Roger Deakins’ or Justine Triet’s work in whatever conversation she’s in.
Giselle Hinojosa
Giselle Hinojosa, Contributing Writer
I'm a first year Communications major, looking to work professionally as a journalist. When I'm not writing I'm either watching sports, out trying new food with friends, or working out.
Michelle Deng, Artist
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