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Richard Rider

Ray Ellis, strong San Diego Republican city council candidate, quits race

A further sign of the deteriorating political picture in California is the announced decision of Ray Ellis to quit the San Diego city council race.  Well funded and in the November runoff in what used to be a Republican district, Ellis has read the tea leaves and dropped out — though I presume his name will remain on the November ballot. I got an email announcement today to that effect — because I was one of his donors in the primary.

It’s a sad but understandable decision.  The Democrat will win easily, based on the surprising primary results. And the GOP turnout in November will be adversely impacted by the Trump divisiveness within the Republican Party.

This La Jolla district was the key race to winning a GOP majority on the city council, in a city that overall has a decisive Democrat voter registration advantage of 42% to 25% (contrary to popular perceptions).  Not gonna happen.

Here’s his letter to his donors:


I want to thank you for all of your efforts and generous financial support during our campaign. It’s been a pleasure to work with you and I am grateful to have you on my team.

From the beginning, I have said that 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 divisiveness at the top of ticket is only going to make our situation in District 1 worse. 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 can’t in good faith ask you to invest your funds and time again.

So, after much thought, I am committed to getting back to work serving San Diego 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.

I want to thank all of my supporters and my family and I want to extend any assistance to Ms. Bry that I can offer. I wish her the best of luck moving forward.

Thank you,