Sherman initially led Bry by just over 3,000 votes on election night, but Bry pulled ahead of him about a week ago as more ballots were counted. The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that there are only 5,000 votes left to be tabulated countywide (the city of San Diego makes up a little less than half of San Diego County), so it would take a miracle for Sherman to retake second place. It's far more likely, though, that Bry will pick up more votes because, as is usually the case in California, the votes tallied after Election Day have disproportionately broken for the Democratic candidates. Sherman doesn't appear to have conceded as of Thursday, but his consultant says that he won't seek a recount.
Gloria, who served as mayor for six months starting in the summer of 2013 (more on that later), very much looks like the frontrunner against Bry. The assemblyman finished well ahead in this month's contest, and he has the support of both the area's powerful labor organizations and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Gloria also has Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris in his corner, and he's held a large financial lead over Bry throughout this race.
However, it's far too early to count Bry out. The Union-Tribune writes that Bry has been "taking more centrist stances on business regulations and on new housing in single-family areas," which could help her win over independents and Republican voters who no longer have a candidate. Sherman could also still have an impact on the race if he chooses to endorse one of the two Democrats.
Republicans have been the dominant force in local politics for decades both in the city of San Diego and San Diego County, and an all-Democratic general election for mayor would have been almost unthinkable here even just a few years ago. The last Democrat to serve as mayor for so much as a year was Maureen O'Connor, who was elected in a 1986 special election that ended nearly 15 years of GOP control and stepped down in 1992.
Republicans retook control that year when moderate Susan Golding defeated Democrat Peter Navarro, who has since switched parties and become a prominent Trump lackey, in a close race. That same night, ironically enough, Bill Clinton became the only Democratic presidential nominee to carry San Diego County between Franklin Roosevelt's 1944 victory and Barack Obama's 2008 win.
Democrats didn't end up seriously contesting the mayor's race in 2000, the year Golding left office, and Dick Murphy defeated fellow Republican Rob Roberts to succeed her. Murphy and Roberts again both advanced out of the 2004 nonpartisan primary, but in a strange twist, Democrats almost managed to win the general election anyway.
San Diego faced a massive pension scandal that threatened to bankrupt the city and led to multiple investigations, and progressive City Councilwoman Donna Frye saw an opening just five weeks before Election Day. Frye launched a write-in campaign, and she upended the contest to lead the place that national publications had dubbed "Enron by the sea." Official results ended up giving Murphy a 2,108-vote lead over Frye in this three-way contest, but his victory was confirmed only after Frye unsuccessfully sued to get over 5,500 additional ballots counted where voters had written down her name but failed to fill in the oval next to the write-in spot.
Murphy ended up resigning the following summer as the scandal deepened, and for a short time, Democrats were back in control of city hall. City Councilman Michael Zucchet took over as acting mayor, but he resigned days later after being convicted in a separate campaign contribution scandal. (Zucchet was later acquitted.) Another Democrat, City Councilwoman Toni Atkins, then became the city's newest leader, which made her San Diego's first gay mayor.
Atkins did not run in the 2005 special election (she later became state Assembly speaker and now leads the state Senate), but Frye did. Republicans retook city hall, though, when former police chief Jerry Sanders defeated Frye 54-46, and he was decisively re-elected to a full term in 2008.
Local Democrats finally won their first mayoral election in 24 years when Rep. Bob Filner defeated GOP City Councilman Carl DeMaio in a hotly contested 2012 race, but the party's celebration was short-lived. Multiple women accused Filner of sexual harassment that summer and, after trying to remain in charge for more than a month, he resigned in August. The aforementioned Democrat Todd Gloria, who was serving as City Council president, then became acting mayor, which made him the city's first mayor of color and its second gay leader. Gloria didn't run in the early 2014 special election, and Republicans soon returned to power when Faulconer won 53-47.
Faulconer easily earned a full term in 2016, but things have only gone downhill for the GOP since then in both the city and in San Diego County. Hillary Clinton carried the once-reliably red county by a wide 56-37 margin, and Republicans took some serious downballot losses there in 2018. Things only got worse the following year when three prominent Republicans left the party at the same time that it was struggling to find a serious candidate to run to succeed Faulconer. Sherman entered the race just before the filing deadline, but he fell just short of advancing to the November general election.
Republicans may have even further to fall this year at the county level. The GOP has controlled the County Board of Supervisors for the last 30 years, and they currently hold a dominant 4-1 majority. However, Republicans already lost a seat earlier this month when two Democrats advanced to the general election, and Republican incumbent Kristin Gaspar faces a tough November race against Democrat Terra Lawson-Remer in a 57-37 Clinton seat.
● Georgia: Republican state House Speaker David Ralston has asked Secretary of State John Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to delay Georgia's primaries a second time, from May 19 to "no earlier than" June 23. Two weeks ago, Raffensperger used his emergency powers to postpone the state's presidential primary, which had been set for March 24, until the day of Georgia's downballot primaries, May 19. While Ralston has asked Raffensperger to act a second time, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that a further delay might require action by the legislature.
Ralston seems interested in a further delay largely so that voters can more easily cast ballots in person. Raffensperger last week announced a plan to send absentee ballot applications to all active registered voters in the state, but Ralston wants the election pushed back both so that voters can "vote in the manner in which they are most familiar," and so that lawmakers can have "a full opportunity to discuss and consider any changes" to Georgia's election procedures.
● Maryland: Maryland's Board of Elections is recommending to GOP Gov. Larry Hogan that the state's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries be conducted entirely by mail, with all voters receiving a mail-in ballot and in-person voting completely eliminated. That last provision could result in a lawsuit, because federal law requires states to make voting accessible for people with disabilities, and not all voters are able to cast ballots by mail.
In fact, in the board's discussion of the April 28 special election in Maryland's 7th Congressional District, which will be conducted by mail, one board official even noted that state law requires election administrators to offer in-person voting to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, according to the board's website, there will be no in-person voting for the special election.
● Missouri: Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says that the possibility of relaxing Missouri's excuse requirement to vote absentee is "on the table," though he indicated that such a change would require legislative action. He also sounds largely opposed to the idea of holding elections entirely by mail.
● Montana: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has told county election officials that they may conduct the state's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries entirely by mail. Voters would be sent ballots with postage-paid return envelopes, and they'd also be able to vote in person during the state's early voting period, which runs for 30 days leading up the primary.
● Ohio: Cleveland.com's Jeremy Pelzer reports that Republican Gov. Mike DeWine will sign a controversial bill to move Ohio's presidential and downballot primaries to April 28 on Friday. Voting rights advocates have criticized the measure and have threatened to sue. Local election officials are also opposed and say that a date in mid-May is more realistic.
● Wisconsin: Voting rights advocates have brought a new lawsuit asking a federal judge to bar Wisconsin officials from enforcing a state law that requires voters to have a witness sign their absentee ballots. Meanwhile, election clerks in Wisconsin's two largest counties, Milwaukee and Dane (home of Madison), have advised voters that they do not need to upload a copy of their ID when requesting an absentee ballot online, a move aimed at helping voters who lack the technological means to do so. Republicans have threatened to sue.
● ME-Sen: Former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse announced on Thursday that he was dropping out of the June Democratic primary and endorsing state House Speaker Sara Gideon.
● NJ-05: Closter Mayor John Glidden announced this week that he was dropping out of the June GOP primary to take on Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
● NY-24: On Thursday, VoteVets endorsed Navy veteran Francis Conole in the June Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. John Katko.
● WI Supreme Court: The National Democratic Redistricting Committee has announced that it will spend $200,000 to support Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky's bid against conservative incumbent Justice Dan Kelly. This officially nonpartisan contest, which is still set for April 7, gives progressives a chance to slim back the state Supreme Court's conservative majority. While a Kelly defeat this year would still leave his allies with a 4-3 edge, progressives would have a shot to flip the balance of power in 2023 when another conservative justice will be up.