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Upset win shifts balance of power in San Diego City Council

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 21:00:14-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Democrats' 5-4 majority on the technically nonpartisan San Diego City Council will increase to 6-3, a majority immune to Mayor Kevin Faulconer's veto.

Democrat physician Jennifer Campbell defeated Republican incumbent District 2 City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, winning 56 percent to 44 percent.  

The subtraction of one Republican could have a major impact in terms of the balance of power. Campbell believes it could have a constructive impact.

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"We'll all become collegial.  I think the other side will be more willing to work with us and listen to our points of view, and we'll listen to theirs. We'll be able to work together and get consensus," said Campbell.

Political expert John Dadian says a different result is possible. He draws parallels to the Democrats taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, in terms of the situation.

"Congress is going to stymie President Trump for then next two years. I think the Democrats are going to stymie anything Mayor Falcouner wants to do," said Dadian.

RELATED: Democrats eye path to San Diego City Council supermajority

Mayoral vetoes are fairly rare, but there was one in 2014 over a minimum wage hike and, most recently, a veto was used over funding for a special election for the SoccerCity plan.

Experts tell 10News some upcoming issues could be shaped by the new supermajority include budget issues like worker wages and benefits, and land use issues like the future of the San Diego Convention Center.  

Another example of an impact? Sources tell 10News groups against the recent ban on polystyrene foam were hoping to appeal for a mayoral veto if the Democrats had not secured a supermajority.

The Mayor's office released the following statement regarding the new power balance:

“The Mayor has a long and successful track record of building partnerships across party lines and he will work with the new Councilmembers to find areas of common ground. At the end of the day we serve the same constituents. It’s not in the best interest of Councilmembers to have an adversarial relationship because that stands in the way of getting things done that are important to San Diegans and our communities.”