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San Diego County Election Returns : Davis, Roache Out in Front in School District Races

Times Staff Writer

Voters whittled down to four candidates on Tuesday their choices for election to two seats on the San Diego Unified School District, giving the clearest primary election victory to incumbent Kay Davis.

Going up against Davis in the November district-wide election will be John de Beck, a former negotiator for the San Diego Teachers Assn., who was running second to Davis in the District C primary, based on returns early this morning.

In the District D election, Jim Roache was clearly leading a primary field of eight candidates, with Sue Braun running second. They will face off in November in a district-wide match-up.

San Diego city voters approved Proposition E, which called for multiyear labor contracts, while Proposition F, which would have given police a 17% pay raise, was defeated.

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In Santee, voters approved Proposition G, which called for a ban on adult entertainment businesses in their East County city.

And in Escondido, voters returned City Council incumbents Ernie Cowan and Doris Thurston to office over two challengers.

The campaigns for two seats on the San Diego Unifed School District Board of Education were crowded but relatively low-key, with discussions--but hardly spirited debate--on such basic issues as crowded schools and drug use on campus.

The race in District B, which includes the district’s northern communities from Mira Mesa to San Carlos, was wide open, with eight candidates battling for the seat vacated by incumbent Larry Lester.

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Both Braun, a community activist, and Steve Vaus, a record producer and jingle writer, raised and spent about twice as much as the other candidates.

The other candidates included Jim Roache, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department captain; Al Korobkin, a supervising deputy state attorney general; Mark Pollick, an attorney; Jack Sheldon, a San Diego State University music professor; Rosemarie Duke, a reading teacher, and Sandra Sparks, a community activist.

The race in District C, which runs from Point Loma to Linda Vista, had a far different tenor, with Davis facing reelection competition from De Beck, a business teacher at Garfield Independent Learning Center.

Spending far less money in their efforts to unseat Davis were Dave Guthrie, a computer consultant, and John Primavera, a writer.

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If San Diego city voters were confused by Propositions E and F, there was little wonder why. Proposition F, which called for a 17% pay increase for police, found itself on the ballot at the initial urging of the Police Officers Assn. as leverage during an impasse in contract negotiations earlier this year. The POA withdrew its support of Proposition F, however, when it reached agreement with the city on a two-year contract. By then, however, the measure had collected enough signatures to qualify for a place on the ballot, and both city officials and POA members alike campaigned against it, arguing that passage would cause fiscal chaos at City Hall.

To help fend off the boomerang, city officials sponsored Proposition E as an alternative measure to allow the city to enter multiyear contracts with its employees, such as the one signed with police. But police and city officials were frustrated by four citizens’ groups that conducted grass-roots campaigns in support of Proposition F and in opposition to Proposition E.

If that issue was the most confounding in San Diego County, perhaps the most interesting was in Santee, where voters confronted Proposition G, a measure designed to ban adult entertainment businesses from the city. Opponents said the measure would almost surely buy the city a lawsuit on the grounds that its passage would infringe First Amendment rights.

The quietest city election in the county was in Escondido, where politically entrenched City Council incumbents Cowan and Thurston faced reelection opposition from only two candidates--Niel Lynch, 44, an engineering technician, and Kris Murphy, 24, owner of a frozen custard shop.

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The central issues in Escondido were growth and traffic--with all four agreeing that there was too much traffic. Disagreement centered on the degree to which the current City Council members allowed development at densities greater than those called for in the city’s general plan.


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