By Nicole Murray Ramirez
With a recent endorsement from Gov. Gavin Newsome, leading in all polls and campaign fundraising, Todd Gloria is the clear frontrunner to make history as San Diego’s first mayor of color and member of the LGBT community. But let’s not forget that his opponent is a millionaire, has many wealthy friends and is quietly being supported by many conservative right-wingers. Let’s not forget that Mark Leno was leading for mayor of San Francisco in 2018 and Hillary Clinton was leading in her 2016 presidential run and both lost. Let’s continue to give 100% to Gloria’s campaign.
By the way, Nick Serrano is doing an outstanding job as his campaign manager.
Stephen Whitburn also leads in polls and fundraising for the 3rd District City Council seat, as well as holds most local Democratic current and past elected office holders’ endorsements including Democrats for Equality and the Uptown Democratic Club. In campaign fundraising, more people gave to Whitburn’s campaign followed by Adrian Kwiatkowski, Chris Olsen and surprisingly in last place, Toni Duran. March 2020 will be the primary election, and this could turn out to be a close race. By the way, all the candidates are LGBT but who is Kwiatkowski, as I have never heard of him or seen him around our community?
Why in the hell is radical lefty Jose Caballero running against one of the most loved, popular and hardworking Rep. Susan Davis, who is the only woman member of Congress from San Diego. Caballero thinks he is like A.O.C. of New York when this nerd’s only claim to fame is working for Kevin Beiser, who is in a big scandal. Jose was very close friends with Beiser but more on this relationship in a future column. Susan Davis will crush Jose in the primary — that everyone knows.
Another hardworking and first woman City Attorney Mara Elliott is facing a challenge from a “sue everyone” guy searching for a public office — any office. I predict San Diegans will reward our dedicated City Attorney Elliot with a well-deserved second term.
Everyone also seems to agree that City Council President Georgette Gomez has a big future ahead of her and is one of the most down to earth, authentic public servants I have ever gotten to know. Gomez should easily be re-elected.
The District 1 San Diego County Board of Supervisor’s seat race will be a rough-and-tumble close campaign with well-known candidates: Nora Vargas, Rafael Castellanos and now state Sen. Ben Hueso. Current Supervisor Nathan Fletcher needs some more Democrats on that conservative republican board and Nora Vargas is the one — another qualified passionate Latina public servant like Gomez.
I had breakfast the other day with popular state Assembly member Brian Maienschein, who I have proudly supported since he first ran for City Council. This proud Democrat works hard for this district and deserves to be re-elected. Toni Atkins, Lorena Gonzalez, Chris Ward, and Maienschein are all looking good to return to our state capitol with Gonzalez also becoming a clear frontrunner to be our next secretary of state!
Former City Council member Carl DeMaio has made San Diego history as being the first candidate for public office to have raised $500,000 — yes, a half million dollars — in 72 hours! Here we go again with the Courage Campaign, Equality California, LGBT Nation all gay-baiting and bashing DeMaio. Carl DeMaio has never hidden that he is gay or his 10-year relationship/marriage to businessman Jonathon Hale as these LGBT groups have lied about. DeMaio also has a 100% LGBT equality voting record when he was on City Council. I absolutely disagree with Carl on his conservative stands, especially gun control and the border issues. Liberal Democrats have many, yes, many reasons to be against Carl DeMaio but not when it comes to questioning and lying about being gay.
Benny Cartwright and Rick Cervantes leave The Center
Probably the most respected, dedicated activists, and yes, loved men, have resigned from our San Diego LGBT Community Center staff — Benny Cartwright and Rick Cervantes. They join a long list of The Center employees exiting since the new executive director took over. And a majority have been gay men. The executive director has allegedly made them all sign non-disclosure agreements, but many have called me. What is going on at our Center? I have been contacted by a local media outlet that are doing an investigation story on The Center and focusing on the staff departures, transgender concerns, criticisms, and more.
I and other people are getting very concerned as the statements from current staff and former staff do not paint a good picture. The departure of respected activists like Benny Cartwright and Rick Cervantes is very disturbing as well as the assertion that staff are being made to sign non-disclosure agreements. I am looking into this situation too with more than a dozen former Center staff members already having already reached out to me.
— Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the ‘Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest’ by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Nicolemrsd1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Nmrsd2.
Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.