Aug 17, 2023 - Election

Montgomery Steppe and Reichert head to San Diego special election runoff

Amy Reichert

Amy Reichert. Photo: Courtesy of Amy Reichert

Republican Amy Reichert, a ReOpen San Diego leader, will meet Democratic San Diego Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe in November's runoff District 4 county supervisor special election.

Driving the news: Democrat Janessa Goldbeck conceded the race Thursday after Reichert extended her lead to nearly 4 points in the latest count from the County Registrar.

"Friends ā€“ there are still thousands of ballots left to count, but unfortunately, it appears that our campaign does not have a path to victory."
ā€” Janessa Goldbeck in a statement

Why this matters: The race to fill the vacant seat could determine partisan control of the board of supervisors, which manages the county's $8 billion budget.

Context: The special election aims to fill the vacancy left when former Supervisor Nathan Fletcher resigned this spring, after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a former staffer of the Metropolitan Transit System, where he was board chair.

State of play: Montgomery Steppe would enter a November matchup against Reichert with some natural advantages.

  • Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district nearly three to one.
  • The two Democrats in the primary combined for 66.4% of the vote, and Fletcher defeated Reichert in his re-election bid last year by more than 29 points.

What they're saying: "I just called Councilmember Montgomery Steppe to congratulate her and her team on a decisive first place finish," Goldbeck wrote in her statement. "It's clear that San Diegans want strong Democratic leadership on the County Board of Supervisors, and Councilmember Montgomery Steppe will deliver that."

What's next: If Montgomery Steppe takes advantage of the district's blue tilt, Democratic Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer's re-election bid next year would again determine partisan control of the board.

  • Lawson-Remer has a viable Republican opponent in former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
  • Lawson-Remer's District 3 seat is more evenly split, with more Republicans, fewer Democrats and more Independent registered voters.
  • A Montgomery-Steppe victory would also trigger a special election next year for her City Council seat.
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