District 1 Race Too Close to Call

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – The hotly contested race in San Diego City Council District 1 is currently too close to call as many late and provisional ballots still need to be counted. Democrat Barbara Bry is currently just shy of the 50 percent plus one threshold to avoid a November runoff against Republican Ray Ellis.

District One includes the communities of Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Torrey Pines, University City, and nearby communities.

If the current numbers hold, voters will have an opportunity to choose between the top two candidates in November. However, if Bry can get to that 50 percent plus one threshold (currently she is at 49.05%), then the race is over and no general election will be held.

The election will determine whether the city council’s partisan majority will shift from Democratic to Republican.

The election will determine whether the city council's partisan majority will shift from Democratic to Republican.

The results from the San Diego County Registrar are currently unofficial and have not been certified, but Ellis stands at second place with 33.71% of the vote, while the other candidates received less than 10% each. There are still 285,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted in San Diego County weeks, though it is difficult to determine how many of those ballots are specifically from District 1.

Ellis is a local business owner with extensive community involvement. Before the final poll location results were posted, Ellis stated that he was “disappointed about early results, but it’s a long night.” Ellis began a direct marketing company (which he later sold), has served on the city pension board, and boards managing Balboa Park Conservancy and Equinox Center. Ellis’s top priorities include infrastructure, affordable water, and creating housing stock.

Local high-tech entrepreneur Barbara Bry (D) is known as a professor, journalist, and community volunteer. Early in the evening, Bry said, “We may go to November and that’s fine — I’m ready to go the distance.” She founded a flower delivery service that created hundreds of local jobs, an organization to support women in tech, and the political action committee, Run Women Run. Bry’s priorities include public safety, appropriate development, and clean environment.

Both District 1 candidates include creating jobs and fixing 9-1-1 response times as top issues they plan to address. Additionally, Bry and Ellis are both against a downtown Chargers stadium.

While Bry supports the Citizens’ Plan for Tourism Reform, Ellis claims it would raise taxes on residents to build the downtown stadium. The Citizens’ Plan raises the Transient Occupancy Tax to 15.5% and ensures tourism-related general funds go toward environmental and education development.

Photo Source: KPBS