Recall Campbell Campaign Closes Down

by on June 2, 2021 · 11 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

On Tuesday, the OB Rag was sent an email by the Recall Campbell campaign announcing that the effort did not reach their goal of 14,000 signatures, “not enough to force the recall of Jennifer Campbell.”

Campaign organizers stated they did garner over 10,000 signatures, however. In their statement, the campaign said:

The pandemic combined with competing signature-gathering efforts for other political races and Jennifer Campbell’s low name recognition proved to be an insurmountable challenge.

They were up against “an establishment candidate backed by deep-pocketed special interests ….” and up against the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The effects of the pandemic cannot be overstated. Doing the door-to-door, person-to-person canvassing for signatures during the COVID-19 surge appeared to be an impossibility, and the fact that they obtained over 10,000 District 2 voters to sign is a testament to the strength of the dissatisfaction with Jen Campbell.

The recall campaign signaled that it would be pivoting its efforts to the 2022 election instead.

Several issues drove the recall effort: Campbell’s backtracking on commitments she made during her election in 2018, such as support for the 30-foot height limit and her stance against short-term vacation rentals. She engineered what is now seen as a premature move to disassemble the height limit in the Midway area, and she crafted a “compromise” with the largest short-term home rental corporation in the world that poured gasoline on smoldering embers that were already destroying the area’s housing stock.

The OB Rag published numerous articles on how Campbell went back on her word on these two crucial issues in her district. (It should be noted as well that the voters of the Midway District and a majority of the voters in District 2 voted against Campbell’s Measure E that would allow massive redevelopment in the Midway.)

Even Scott Lewis at the Voice of San Diego understood the recall campaign “would not have happened at all had Campbell not tried to forge a compromise to regulate vacation rentals.” Other voices expressed their displeasure with Campbell as well.

Just as a comparison, in the primary for San Diego City Council District 2 on June 5, 2018, Campbell only received 6,871 votes, 500 more than candidate Bryan Pease. Of course, Campbell eventually won the general election that year with 32,439 votes to Lorie Zapf’s 23,516. The point being that over 10,000 is still a lot of voters.

Naturally, Campbell, her consultants and allies disparaged the recall campaign. They became so desperate in the waning days of the campaign, that they attempted to link the recall effort with right-wing extremist Trump supporters. But the folks who began the recall were her constituents – many of whom are Democrats and progressives. Even the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democratic Club came out in support of the recall.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam June 2, 2021 at 2:42 pm

Really sad news. This woman is as corrupt as they come.


Don Wood June 2, 2021 at 2:45 pm

Next time, hire a campaign signature gathering consulting firm, do surveys and make sure you can gather all the signatures needed before even announcing a recall effort. For now, focus on the upcoming primary to qualify an attractive alternate candidate, then in the November election. This time around, it would have been useful to have coalesced around on alternate candidate up front, one who could have become the face of the recall effort. As it was, you had a few unknowns who didn’t have the political firepower to push Campbell out of office.


John Thickstun June 2, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Jennifer Campbell claimed the recall was driven by “elites and extremists”. She also claimed it was driven by Trump supporting Republicans. Yesterday afternoon, Todd Gloria called the recall effort “ridiculous” and a “distraction”.
Here are just a few facts.
Over 10,000 residents of District 2 signed the petition.
Point Loma & Ocean Beach Democratic Club voted 18 to 5 to support the recall.
Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County voted 24 to 1 to support the recall.
La Jolla Democratic Club voted unanimously to support the recall, as did the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club – West Chapter.
It’s easy to understand why so many San Diegans and thousands of District 2 voters want Jennifer Campbell gone.


Chris June 3, 2021 at 7:09 am

The linking to Trump supporters kills me. That’s San Diego politics for your.


Frank Gormlie June 3, 2021 at 10:53 am

Did anyone notice the U-T editorial board’s editorial today? It’s another on how the recall campaign vs Campbell was worthless. This is their second editorial on it. Wow, that’s serious. Did they even have 2 editorials on short term rentals? Or climate crisis? Or the rise of the seas? Or the OB Pier? It was such a waste of time that the U-T ed board had to write 2 separate pieces on how the recall was such a waste of time. And no, I’m not providing a link to it – it’s such a waste of time.


Mat Wahlstrom June 3, 2021 at 11:39 am

Perfect take on this. The U-T ed board has always shilled on behalf of the Establishment, but nowadays dresses up their rank partisanship in prim sanctimony. If it weren’t for the U-T’s investigative reporting, there wouldn’t be any reason to mourn its demise.


Dike Anyiwo June 3, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Do you have a citation for this claim Frank?

“It should be noted as well that the voters of the Midway District and a majority of the voters in District 2 voted against Campbell’s Measure E that would allow massive redevelopment in the Midway.”


kh June 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

SD registrar of voters show the totals by precinct. It was very close in D2 but the majority voted against measure E. West Clairemont, Ocean Beach, and Point Loma voted against it. Pacific and Mission Beach and Midway supported it overall.


kh June 3, 2021 at 2:42 pm

Actually my bad, Midway also voted against it. 2253 to 2066. (Some of the precincts listed as Midway are actually across the highway and not in D2). The precinct names are not consistent with the official community names and boundaries.


Frank Gormlie June 3, 2021 at 2:46 pm

Thanks KH; originally I relied on precinct maps for the Midway. But Midway precincts also include Old Town – which is not the Midway. If you tally up the votes, yes “Midway-Old Town” voted for Measure E with 13,332 vs 12,068, a diff of 1324. But if you delete those precincts with sections of Old Town, then I’ll surmise the Midway voted AGAINST E.


kh June 3, 2021 at 2:51 pm

And you are correct.

Also Voice of San Diego published correct maps of these votes but erroneously reported on the outcome. That article included a quote from Dike.


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