By Mike Wille
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Councilwoman Sherri Lightner claimed victory over businessman and philanthropist Ray Ellis in their District 1 race.
Lightner had 52.7 percent of the vote compared to 47.3 percent for Ellis with nearly 20 percent of the votes counted, according to results released by the Registrar of Voters office.
“We ran a great, fast-paced campaign, and we won,” Lightner told City News Service.
Ellis went home early this evening and was unavailable for comment, according to his campaign manager.
The race for the seat in the northwest portion of the city was the only City Council race that went to a November runoff.
Councilman Todd Gloria was re-elected outright in June and Councilwoman Marti Emerald was returned to office in the newly created District 9. Scott Sherman won Emerald’s old district outright in a close race in the primary, and Mark Kersey was tabbed by voters to succeed Councilman Carl DeMaio, who gave up his seat to run for mayor.
If the trend holds, Democrats will hold a 5-4 majority on the new-look City Council, which added Emerald’s new district.
While the panel is technically nonpartisan, Lightner’s victory could mean the re-election of council President Tony Young, and could keep Democrats in control of committee chairmanships.
In practice, partisanship has meant little in day-to-day operations of the panel under Young’s leadership over the past two years.