Follow the Money in the ‘Rough and Tumble Race’ Between Jen Campbell and Lorie Zapf for District 2

by on October 25, 2018 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

It is a rough and tumble race out there between challenger and Democrat Jen Campbell and incumbent and Republican Lorie Zapf in the District 2 show-down.

Even though Zapf is known through-out the district and has an advantage being the incumbent, registered Democrats have the edge with their 32,000 to 22,500 registered Republicans. (There’s also 27,000 ‘no party preference’ voters.)

So, with less than 2 weeks to go to the November 6 election, who’s on first? And who’s on second?

Pundits always look at the money first. Each candidate for D2 has one or more PACs collecting and spending monies on behalf of the candidate. Less than a month ago, Campbell and Zapf had spent more than $300,000 combined since July 1. That’s more than the combined total spending in the 3 other council runoffs on the November ballot.

Look at who is helping Zapf – as of October 23, donors who have contributed $10,000 or more – from the City’s Major Funding of Campaign Committees page:

And here is Jen Campbell’s major donors and PAC:

Clearly, Zapf has more PACs and more monies coming in. In an October 12 report from KPBS, she brought in more than $500,000 with more than $245,000 in the bank as of Sept. 22. In contrast, Campbell has raised almost $253,000 and had almost $43,000 in the bank as of Sept. 22.

Here are some noteworthy efforts by outside forces in the D2 race for the general election (as of October 9).

A PAC calling itself “The Coastal Communities Supporting Lorie Zapf for Council 2018” (see chart above) and funded by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Club, spent more than $90,000 on Zapf. The backers and funders of this PAC neither represent any community nor live at the coast.

The conservative, pro-capitalist Lincoln Club has really been busy supporting Zapf and opposing Campbell. As an organization they have spent $80,000 opposing Campbell. Another PAC funded by the Lincoln, calling itself “Public Integrity League Opposed to Jen Campbell for City Council 2018”, spent $40,000 on TV ads opposing Campbell.

We must not forget the San Diego County Republican Party which spent more than $39,000 on Zapf.

The police labor union has gotten involved in this rough and tumble mix-up – which may determine whether Council Democrats have a veto-proof majority – and spent $8,000 on signs and mailers for Zapf.

And the committee created by the Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Club spent $36,000 on mailers and $40,000 on polling for Zapf. It helped that they had received a $25,000 contribution from the Building Industry Association.

On Campbell’s side, the San Diego County Democratic Party spent more than $108,000 on mailers and field expenses on her behalf.

And a PAC called “San Diegans Against Hate opposing Lorie Zapf for City Council 2018” (see chart above) spent more than $86,000 on digital ads, consulting, mailers, research and polling opposing Zapf. It is funded by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and by a co-owner of a restaurant group ETC Adventures who is Scott Borden.

Here is a telling point: Between July 1 and Sept. 22, Campbell outspent Zapf nearly 2 to 1 – $191,000 to $95,000 when looking strictly at spending by the individual campaigns. Yet, Zapf’s total rises to $203,000 when spending by political action committees is included for the entire year.

On a different plane, Zapf has been recently endorsed by the San Diego Union-Tribune. And Campbell has been recently endorsed by Emily’s List, a national organization that funds campaigns of women candidates.

Here’s the list of organizational endorsers:

For Jen Campbell –

  • San Diego Democratic Party,
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund,
  • Sierra Club,
  • Climate Defenders Action Fund,
  • League of Conversation Voters,
  • San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council,
  • San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council,
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters,
  • The Victory Fund,
  • Run Women Run,
  • Equality California,
  • San Diego Democrats for Equality, S
  • an Diego Democrats for Environmental Action,
  • San Diego County Young Democrats,
  • Clairemont Democratic Club,
  • Pacific Beach Democratic Club,
  • Point Loma Democratic Club,
  • San Diego Labor Democratic Club

For Lorie Zapf –

  • Republican Party of San Diego,
  • San Diego Police Officers Association,
  • Associated General Contractors – San Diego Chapter,
  • California Restaurant Association PAC,
  • Lincoln Club of San Diego County,
  • San Diego Downtown Partnership,
  • Building Industry Association of San Diego County,
  • San Diego County Apartment Association


District 2

Total Registered Voters 87,080
Democrats 31,982
Republicans 22,462
No Party Preference 27,074
Other 5,562


San Diego Free Press


San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Reader



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ October 26, 2018 at 1:05 pm

I don’t like either of them. Can we get that lifeguard dude back instead?

I have received about 20 junk mails saying Campbell was sued for disability fraud. Does she have a response to this?


Vern October 26, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Zapf has been AWOL over the last few years regarding flight path issues among other things. Now she comes out at the eleventh hour about the additional 700 flights per week from a terminal 1 expansion – simply seeking votes one suspects.
Campbell, a doctor no less, has no input regarding increased air and noise pollution.
SD continues it’s backward ways.


Frank Gormlie October 31, 2018 at 11:07 am

Here’s a recent quote by someone OBceans know: Gretchen Newsom, President Emeritus, Ocean Beach Town Council and Committee Member of the ‘San Diegans Against Hate in Opposition to Lorie Zapf’ Independent Expenditure Campaign, said:

“Voters are abandoning incumbent Republican Lorie Zapf as they learn of her Trump-esque bigotry, horrible remarks about our LGBTQ community, and bad job performance. District 2 voters should vote for Dr. Jen Campbell for City Council – Dr. Jen has positive prescriptions to address our homelessness crisis, affordable housing shortage, and crumbling community infrastructure.”


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