In last week’s paper, local blogger, Daron Case, claimed, “our local elected offices (i.e., Mayor, City Council, and CUSD Governing Board) are defined by the County Registrar of Voters as ‘nonpartisan’ offices and Coronado has a longstanding tradition of nonpartisan elections.”
Both of Daron’s claims are demonstrably false.
First, local elections are nonpartisan, per the California Constitution, not the Registrar of Voters. Article 2, Section 6 of the California Constitution declares that school and city offices are nonpartisan, and goes on to state “the candidate’s party preference shall not be included on the ballot for the nonpartisan office.” Daron mistakes this meaning of “nonpartisan election” to mean that candidates cannot be endorsed by a political party. In fact, nonpartisan elections simply mean that no party affiliation is printed on the ballot next to the candidate’s name.
However, several vocal local democrats are twisting the meaning, while not acknowledging their own party pushing its own candidates in every city in our county.
A quick Google search will find a 2004 Republican door hanger that featured Mayor Smisek and Council candidates Patty Schmidt and Phil Monroe.
Casey Tanaka’s photo was shown during the 2016 Democratic National Convention to a national audience and he was endorsed by the Democratic Party when he ran for local office previously.
Mary Sykes was endorsed by the Democrats in her 2018 run for City Council.
Whitney Benzian was endorsed by the Democratic Party in 2012 when he ran for City Council.
Bill Sandke sought the Republican endorsement in 2018 and was denied, primarily due to him supporting a tax increase and missing so many council meetings.
Currently, the San Diego Democratic Party is supporting Casey Tanaka and Tim Rohan on their website. as “Democratic candidates who have publicly announced that they’re running for election in San Diego County or who have asked to be added to his page.”
Both major political parties endorse in local elections throughout San Diego County, including Coronado. To claim otherwise would be untrue.
Political parties acting in support of local candidates might not be preferred speech by some in our community, but it is protected speech by the First Amendment.
Although both parties endorse candidates for races, candidates historically run an issue-based campaign. I feel confident that will continue to be the case going forward and our community will be better for it.