The political winds of change are blowing throughout San Diego. Donna Frye, a liberal Democrat, environmentalist, people person and a non-establishment person, defeated Steve Danon, Republican, prodigy of Supervisor Ron Roberts (R). Danon was known as a friend of Developers & of the Real Estate industry and was endorsed by the Union Tribune, the voice of the Republican establishment.
The special election was held to replace Valerie Stallings who resigned in January over a deepening scandal over her acceptance of gifts (stocks) from Padre owner John Moores. As a member of Mayor Susan Golding's City Council, Stallings became the sacrificial victim of the odorous financing plan and MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for the proposed Padre Ball Park.
Frye who had trailed Danon for most of the evening finally pulled the election out of the fire and defeated Danon by a vote margin of 52.2% to 47.8%. Danon received most of his financial support ($184,014) from the building industry and real estate interests. Councilwoman elect Donna Frye, received the majority of her funds ($77,720) from District 6 residents, Unions representing the working class, and utilized a large grass roots organization to win the election.
District 6 is home to the residents of Clairemont, Mission Valley, Serra Mesa, Bay Park, parts of Linda Vista, Kearny Mesa, and Pacific Beach. The area is highly diversified and includes large populations of Mexican Americans, Asians, working class Whites and other moderate-income residents. These are areas that are highly impacted by gridlock on their freeways & residential streets, polluted beaches, destruction of their environment by over construction, and has had to accept many of the city's homeless, unemployed and many on welfare. The message should be clear "business as usual" will not buy you too many votes in District 6!
The Republican message, as promoted by the office holders and party activists, has not resonated with then electorate.
(Councilwoman Frye will complete Stallings term of office. She will have to run for reelection in the March 2002 Primary and if necessary the June General Election to win a full four year term.)