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Ray Ellis drops out of critical San Diego City Council race

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Posted at 7:38 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 10:39:41-04
SAN DIEGO – Businessman Ray Ellis has dropped out of the November race for the highly important San Diego City Council District No. 1. 
 
Ellis announced the decision in an email Friday. 
 
“I do not believe there is a viable path to victory in November’s City Council runoff. Without a viable path, I cannot in good faith ask supporters to finance another effort,” Ellis wrote.   
 
Ellis’ departure clears the path for high-tech entrepreneur Barbara Bry. District 1 represents Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City. The seat is important because it determines the balance of power on the technically nonpartisan panel.
 
Democrats cling to a 5-4 majority, which would be maintained with a Bry victory in November.
 
In the June Primary, Bry fell just shy of the number of votes needed to claim a seat, thus requiring a November runoff with the second place finisher, Ellis. Bry had to receive a majority of the votes to win outright. Bry finished with 48 percent of the vote, Ellis with 34 percent. 
 
Here is the full statement from Ellis:
“I want to thank my supporters for all their efforts on our campaign. It’s been a pleasure getting to know so many people in District 1.
“From the beginning, I have said I entered this race to have a positive impact on San Diego – that is what I have been doing for years through my volunteer work. 
 
“City Council elections are officially non-partisan, as they should be. There is no Republican or Democratic way to address the numerous opportunities and issues facing our City. Most voters, however, have little bandwidth for local elections, and many rely on party affiliation when casting their vote.
 
“We know Republican registration is down in District 1 and Democratic registration is up. That and other factors at the top of the ticket contributed to a 17% swing for Democrats in District 1 compared to the June 2012 primary. Back then, Republicans enjoyed a 4% turnout advantage in District 1. This past June, Democrats enjoyed a 13% advantage.
 
“As we look to November, I believe the toxicity and the divisiveness at the top of ticket will get worse. My values are important to me and I will not support presidential candidate Donald Trump.
 
“Due to these conditions, I do not believe there is a viable path to victory in November’s City Council runoff. Without a viable path, I cannot in good faith ask supporters to finance another effort.  After much thought, I have decided my time is better spent getting back to work as a community volunteer.
“Although I am withdrawing my candidacy for City Council, I will always work to make San Diego a better place. Gina and I are San Diegans first and foremost. We love it here and we will always do whatever we can to support our City and everyone who calls it home. 
 
“I believe I can have the greatest impact on important issues like homelessness, education, foster children and issues in our neighborhoods, with organizations like Neighborhood House Association/Head Start, The Parker Foundation, San Diego Social Venture Partners and my community planning board. Instead of raising funds for my campaign, I urge supporters to visit my website at www.ellisforcouncil.com and consider supporting organizations that Gina and I believe in and support.
 
I want to thank my supporters and my family. I also want to congratulate Ms. Bry and her family on her success. I want to extend any assistance to Ms. Bry that I can offer. I wish her the best of luck moving forward.”