It’s Nathan Fletcher vs. Bonnie Dumanis in San Diego County Supervisor D4 and It’s a Critical Contest

by on November 2, 2018 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

San Diego County Administration Building . Flickr/ Justin in SD

Originally posted Sept 26, 2018

Editordude: The following post about the District 4 County supervisor race explains why it’s a critical contest. Ocean Beach, much of Point Loma, the Midway and other beaches – plus most of the City are in District 4.

Tuesday, November 6 should be the beginning of the end of a status quo situation in San Diego that is just. plain. wrong.. All you have to do is vote.

I know, I know. Every campaign and every ballot measure says they’re The One, but this vote will –over the next few years– improve mental health care, help the homeless, and make our corner of the country a better place for all of us to live.

Much of the power over our lives by the government is vested with the five members of the County Board of Supervisors. Most of them have been in office for more than 20 years.

This mostly morbid entity is where the real power and capital exists. Up until this year, this group of mostly white, male, Republican graduates of San Diego State University could serve as long as they cared and even got to draw the lines of the districts they represented.

There are now 170,000+ more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county and we’re somehow being represented by people inclined to an ideology rooted in the past and willfully ignorant of the future of the planet.

They’ve got the whole enchilada of power, much of delegated by the State constitution and function in legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial capacities.

More than two billion dollars sit in reserve accounts, more than three times the amount considered prudent to safeguard against economic downturns. The rules preventing additional spending by the county are mostly self-imposed.

The county government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and –most importantly– social services. While funding isn’t the only answer to our regional problems with mental health and homelessness, a lack of funding certainly does help.

In 2010, the union (SEIU) representing county employees –the people who see problems first hand– did something that unions aren’t supposed to do; they advocated for (and won) a ballot measure mandating term limits. Those limits are coming into play in 2018 and 2020.

Supervisor districts four and five are up for grabs this year.

District 4

This district includes Adams North, Alta Vista, Bay Ho, Bay Park, Birdland, Castle, Cherokee Point, Chollas Creek, City Heights, Clairemont Mesa, Colina Del Sol, Corridor, Cortez, Crown Point, El Cerrito, Emerald Hills, Encanto, Fairmount Park, Fairmount Village, Golden Hill, Hillcrest, Jamacha Lomita, Kearny Mesa, Kensington, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Little Italy, Loma Portal, Middletown, Midway, Mission Beach, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, Morena, Normal Heights, North Park, Oak Park, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, much of Point Loma, Park West, Redwood Village, Serra Mesa, Skyline, South Park, Swan Canyon, Talmadge Park, University Heights, Valencia Park, Webster and northeastern downtown San Diego.

Most of the City of San Diego lies within D4. Nearly 90,000 more Democrats than Republicans live within its boundaries.

Termed-out incumbent Ron Roberts has hewed left on social issues while being generally supportive of the fiscal and administrative policies favored by the more conservative members of the board.

The handwriting is on the wall. A progressive vision is needed.

The downtown/business/GOP types who’ve ruled the roost wasn’t going to give the seat up without a fight. They came up with a plan designed to divide Democrats and get the more beatable candidate into the general election.

A Faustian pact was made. Plausible denial was the name of the game where it was hoped truth would be obscured by vile noise. The scheme failed.

The candidate the Lincoln Club/Chamber of Commerce types hoped to beat in the General election placed third, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to sully the name of the eventual Democratic nominee.

Organized labor stepped to the plate with monies of their own and a serious ground game.

The Republican candidate who made the runoff with a mere 23.5% of the vote now has to face the reality that 76.5% of the primary voters didn’t see fit to support her.

Now the choices are no longer muddled.


Nathan Fletcher (Democrat)

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Total fundraising as of June 30: $615,175.71

(Note: there has been significant outside spending for this seat not reflected in the totals referenced for the individual candidates.)

Issues: Real Action On Homelessness, Traffic Relief And Public Transit, Fighting For Working Families, Protecting Our Environment.

Organizational Endorsements: San Diego Democratic Party, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, San Diego Democrats for Equality, SEIU Local 221, SEIU USWW, IBEW Local 47, IBEW Local 569, United Domestic Workers (AFSCME Local 3930), San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, CWA Local 9509, UA Local 230, San Diego County Firefighters Local 2881, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, National Electrical Contractors Association, League of Conservation Voters – San Diego, California Nurses Association, San Diego City Firefighters Local 145, San Diego County Probation Officers Association, San Diego County Public Assistance Investigators Association, , San Diego County Young Democrats, San Diego County Medical Society, San Diego Lifeguards, Teamsters, Local 911, United Nurses Association of California-San Diego, Point Loma and OB Democratic Club, Downtown Democratic Club, Veteran’s Democratic Club, Clairemont Democratic Club, San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance, Public Defenders Association of San Diego County, San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention

Union-Tribune San Diego County Board of Supervisors candidate Nathan Fletcher: The Union-Tribune interview
KPBSDistrict 4 Candidate Nathan Fletcher Wants To Drive Board Of Supervisors In New Direction
Voice of San Diego Nathan Fletcher’s Union With Labor Now Completes His Transformation


Over the course of the past few months, I’ve studied a lot of campaign literature and websites. When it comes to issues, I’ve learned to expect platitudes and vague promises; it’s the safe course for most aspiring candidates.

I also interviewed Nathan Fletcher prior to the primary. I was struck by his determination and convinced of his ideological transformation, yet still harbored doubts about the depth of his grasp of the issues.

It wasn’t that I disagreed with “changing the status quo” or “standing up to Trump;” it was the urgency of the tasks facing local government in the coming years.

Now that we’re headed into the general election, my doubts have been more than addressed. Fletcher has put some meat on those bones with some of the most detailed issues/plans pages of any candidate I’ve seen.

It’s going to be an uphill struggle for Nathan Fletcher next year, assuming he wins. I am now convinced he’s capable of laying the groundwork and changing the culture in the county administration in ways that were unimaginable in years past.


Bonnie Dumanis (Republican)

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Total fundraising as of June 30: $484,109.04

Issues: Housing, Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Environment, Homelessness, Public Safety, Roads and Infrastructure, Substance Abuse, Working Families, Veterans

Organizational Endorsements: Associated General Contractors, Building Industry Association of San Diego County, California Restaurant Association-San Diego, Chula Vista Police Officers Association, District Attorney Investigators’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #10, Latino American Political Association, Mexican American Business & Professional Association, National Latino Peace Officers Association, New Majority of San Diego, Oceanside Police Officers Association, San Diegans Against Crime, San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego County Police Chiefs & Sheriffs Association, San Diego Police Officers Association. San Diego Regional Chamber, Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement.

KPBSBonnie Dumanis Says Making District 4 Supervisor’s Race Partisan Is A Political Tactic
Voice of San DiegoPowerful Ex-DA Volunteers to Be County Supervisor
San Diego Free PressBonnie Dumanis: Will She Fool San Diego Again?

With Bonnie Dumanis, it’s all about packaging. She’s the velvet fist of local Republicanism. Trump’s tweets are bad. Diversity isn’t the enemy. Social programs need to be run more efficiently. Her father was a Teamster. And everything’s too “partisan.”

It all sounds quite reasonable until you take a look at who’s paying the freight for this campaign, namely the entities who think progress involves worshiping the idols of the marketplace and working for the common good is a threat to (their) individual freedom.

San Diego’s former District Attorney is running as Judge Bonnie Dumanis, the job she stepped down from in 2003. That’s because she doesn’t want to invoke memories of the campaign finance scandals tainting her previous political efforts.

It also sidesteps questions about how she politicized the county’s prosecutorial apparatus–if you played along with Bonnie, you got along in San Diego politics.

Running as “Judge” Bonnie is also supposed to smooth over the rough edges of her antagonism towards medical marijuana and the people who tried to make it available in San Diego. And it avoids the history of racism in local law enforcement practices.

As I said just a year ago:

The last thing Republicans want discussed is Bonnie Dumanis’ actual record: medical marijuana pot busts, coverups of malfeasance, racial animus, negligence on domestic violence, and –lest we forget– hanging out with rich guys/now convicted felons looking to turn San Diego’s waterfront into another Miami Beach.

Other articles in this series:

The San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide, to be published in early October will include these and many other candidates. To see all our coverage for the 2018 elections, go here.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ September 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm

1. Love that photo of San Diego County Administration Building. That whole WPA era resulted in so many beautiful buildings like this.

2. “We should spend the county reserve fund” and “Public employees love us” are not local Democrat messages that work for me. I don’t think I am the only one, lots of registered Democrats obviously are voting for Democrats in state and national office, but not local offices. That’s how we had Obama win San Diego county, but all 5 county supervisors be Republicans. I suggest they show some independence from the government employee unions with their $150,000 salaries and $100,000 a year for life pensions.


Lori Saldana October 1, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Sigh… What nonsense all this is. Writing something over and over without evidence to support it doesn’t make true.

1) “The downtown/business/GOP types who’ve ruled the roost wasn’t [sic] going to give the seat up without a fight. They came up with a plan designed to divide Democrats and get the more beatable candidate into the general election.”

Really? And you know this- how? What evidence can you offer readers to back up this statement? If you are referring to me- FWIW- I indicated an interest in this seat after running for Mayor in 2016, without any “plan” from the “types” you reference here.

2) “The candidate the Lincoln Club/Chamber of Commerce types hoped to beat in the General election placed third, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to sully the name of the eventual Democratic nominee.”

OK- clearly, you are referring to me since I came in third, with 27,000 votes, despite the Democratic Party and Labor running disgusting ads linking me to a serial sexual harasser and calling me an “enabler” of harassment against women.

As a survivor of sexual assault: this was beyond disgusting.

And not only that: Dollar for dollar I received the most votes with the least money in this campaign. Indeed- if Democrats spent as much money to defeat Republicans as they have done to defeat me, this County would be a lot more progressive.

Meanwhile, you continue to support a Republican-turned-Democrat who has taken money from private prisons that take children from their parents. Who opposed marriage equality and immigrant family unification. Who was endorsed by the NRA. Who now opposes Prop. 10’s Rent Control- and you apparently think he will be a good representative for progressives in San Diego.

How does that work?

Unlike your assertions: I can provide evidence for each of the statements I make.

Please provide actual, factual evidence for any of the nonsense you continue to write about my candidacy- or just stop writing.

It’s embarrassing- for you.


NOT DUMANIS October 1, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Lori, please don’t get your panties in a bunch. The OB Rag is your friend and they are being pragmatic here in regard to Nathan Fletcher, who also leaves a bad taste in many a mouth. But let’s look at the big picture here: we need a Democrat on the BOS and it is imperative that he beat back the political scourge of Bonnie Dumanis…and send that witch into retirement, where she can enjoy her excessive pension and the fruits of her political graft, which this wretched “public servant” so craftily earned. NOT DUMANIS!


Lori Saldaña October 2, 2018 at 10:09 am

I am grateful the OB Rag has been supportive of my candidacy and work over the years, vs. their sister publication’s editor who, apparently, has accepted the Fletcher koolaid about my reasons for running for Supervisor, and ignored my previous work as a progressive representative for this district.

In can you missed them: The ads the Democratic Party financed to attack me portrayed me as an enabler of sexual harassment.

In fact: they were retaliation for when I warned them of Bob Filner’s harassment and abusive behavior, back in 2011.


The mailers were shocking to those who know me, and painful to my students, colleagues, family and friends, as well as myself. I have no doubt they re-activated the experiences of many survivors of sexual assault- they certainly did that to me.

As a survivor of sexual assault, the allegations they sent out were not only baseless but incredibly painful and reactivated the sense of violation and abuse I survived as a college student.

The Party’s mailers were so disturbing to some of my college students that they missed class, and told other teachers the ads were making them sick.

Vote as you like- but please don’t let these types of attacks continue. It harms all women, in many ways, when we report abuse and are are subjected to retaliation by those who ignored our warnings.

I am grateful 27,000 San Diegans saw through their lies and voted for me in June.

But until and unless the leadership of the party changes, and actually supports and believes survivors of sexual assault- I will not be participating in their activities or accepting their recommendations without doing my own research.

I am contributing to women candidates I support, and encouraging them to change the culture of the current county party that pays for attacks on whistleblowers who are survivors of sexual assault.

I hope this helps others understand my reluctance to trust a person who had to stoop to this level to win a primary election.

It does not speak well of him as a candidate, or a human being.


Frank Gormlie October 2, 2018 at 12:30 pm

So, Lori, you’re recommending voters to go with Bonnie Dumanis? Really? Talk about enabling a politician who stoops low. How could a “progressive” do that? You have some explaining to do ….


Lori Saldana October 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

First: thank you for allowing me to make comments.

Second: I have made no recommendation for either candidate, despite being asked.
Not recommending a candidate does not mean I support their opponent.

Finally: As a lifelong resident of this District, I am saddened we have only these choices.


Micporte October 31, 2018 at 8:39 am

I served on a couple of juries, including a criminal grand jury, for a month, which gave me plenty of time to study the system under the control of Bonnie dumais, ( because we did nothing, the computer technology was weak, the demand for an second grand jury (we didn’t even need a whole month to sort so slowly through the useless two cases presented to us during that month, so no need for second bureUcractic criminal justice expansion)and end result, disgust… mucho disgust, everything I saw downtown was corrupt wasteful expenditures of taxpayer money to enhance the throwing in jail of folks, that would cost us less to send them to Harvard for the same amount of time… would suggest that one of the questions for dismissal for potential jurors is: are you or any family members or close friends employed by the criminal justice system? Dumanis is a corrupt user of the system, so, pathetic….. please vote no on her… read my poem, on the SDFP, “ the surprising tale of the last jurors in the great penal industry”


Micporte October 31, 2018 at 8:50 am

Ps, Lorie Saldana, if yur hangin with dumanis, I’m glad you lost, what did she promise you?


Goodbye Dumanis November 7, 2018 at 7:41 am

Hopefully, not a tuna fish sandwich. JUST KIDDING, LORI!


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