Mara Elliott wins reelection as city attorney in dominant showing

Presidential Election 2020

Mara Elliott

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott was celebrating a reelection victory Wednesday, following a dominant performance over private attorney Cory Briggs.

“When I was elected four years ago, I pledged to put the people of San Diego first, and that’s just what we’ve done,” Elliott said in a statement Tuesday night claiming victory in the race.

“With the help of our terrific team in the City Attorney’s office, San Diego is a leader in reducing gun violence, helping domestic violence victims, and holding corporate polluters accountable. We moved quickly to protect public health during the pandemic and we’ve made it a priority to safeguard taxpayer dollars. I’m humbled and grateful that the people of San Diego have placed their trust in me to fight for them for another term.”

Elliott has been city attorney since 2016, and since then has taken an uncharacteristically proactive approach to the role, sometimes ruffling feathers, such as with the Smart Streetlights program. In August, members of the San Diego City Council boycotted a meeting with Elliott over restrictions on sensitive documents.

Briggs has sued the city dozens of times, ostensibly to increase transparency at City Hall. He said during the campaign he wanted to remove petty politics from the office.

“As someone who has spent nearly two decades fighting special interests at City Hall, I believe now’s the time to bring my training, experience and taxpayers-first approach to the City Attorney’s Office,” he said.

Elliott pointed to Briggs’ many lawsuits as reasons she is more fit for the office.

The pair have faced off in court during the election cycle. Elliot sued Briggs for identifying himself as a taxpayers’ advocate, while Briggs sued Elliot for claiming an endorsement from the San Diego Union-Tribune after it expired. Briggs prevailed in both cases.

The city attorney serves as the city’s prosecutor and legal adviser.

Meanwhile, San Diego voters weighed in and votes were being tallied on a trio of ballot measures:

  • Measure A is a housing bond that would allow the city to issue up to $900 million in bonds to fund low-income, substance abuse, and mental health service housing. It would be repaid by a levy of between $3 and $21 per $100,000 in property value. It requires two-thirds of the vote to pass, and appeared to be far short of that mark, with just 57% approval.
  • Voters approved Measure B, which amends the city’s charter to replace the Community Review Board on Police Practices with the Commission on Police Practices, which will be appointed by the City Council to conduct investigations and subpoena witnesses and documents related to deaths resulting from police interactions and complaints made against police officers.
  • Voters also appeared to approve Measure E, providing an exception to the city’s long-standing 30-foot height limit in the Coastal Zone for the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan. The plan includes the Sports Arena.

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