City Council incumbents cruise to victory in San Diego

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San Diego City Council

SAN DIEGO — Lorie Zapf will spend the next four years in a new seat on the San Diego City Council, while taxpayer advocate Chris Cate and educator Carol Kim will face each other in a November runoff to take over Zapf’s previous office.

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In District 2, Zapf defeated ex-federal prosecutor Sarah Boot and two other candidates in Tuesday’s election.

Zapf had to switch from District 6 after council maps were redrawn a couple of years ago, meaning she picked up around half the votes in a mostly new section of the city.

“I definitely feel better than I thought I would, actually,” Zapf said. “I had no idea going into it — it’s a complete unknown.”

The district in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Point Loma was vacated by Kevin Faulconer when he became mayor. He was set to be termed-out at the end of this year, anyway.

Ed Harris filled in during the interim and agreed not to run for the seat as a condition of his appointment.

In District 6, Cate defeated Kim by around 16 percent but fell short of the threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Former San Diego Unified Trustee Mitz Lee was a distant third.

The district includes Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa and Mira Mesa.

“We’re happy that the message that we’ve been able to express over the past year has been resonating with voters,” Cate said.

Kim told KUSI that she wanted to make sure the needs of the community were being met.

“I feel like a lot of times we get overlooked,” Kim said. “Clairemont, Mira Mesa — these are communities with lots and lots of working and middle-class families, and for whatever reason, we actually have some of the worst infrastructure in the city.”

She said the roads are “terrible,” the sidewalks are in disrepair and pipes are always breaking, especially in Clairemont.

Councilman David Alvarez, who lost to Faulconer in February’s special election, was re-elected along with Councilwoman Myrtle Cole.

The outcome of the Cate-Kim runoff in November will determine whether or not Democrats on the technically nonpartisan City Council will hold their veto-proof majority. Cate is a Republican and Kim is a Democrat.

Six votes are required to override mayoral vetoes, and with Harris in office, the Democrats hold a 6-3 advantage on the council. Whether the margin holds or shrinks below the threshold will impact contentious issues that might arise in the future, although the council members agree with each other and the Republican Faulconer on most issues.