Election 2012: Local attorney, seal advocate hopes Lightner won’t strike twice at City Hall

Bryan Pease
Bryan Pease

Dist. 1


Four years

City Council member base salary:


Council District 1:

La Jolla, University City, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, Carmel Valley, Del Mar Mesa, Rancho Peñasquitos, Torrey Highlands, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Black Mountain Ranch



By Pat Sherman

Note: The

La Jolla Light

recently met with public-interest attorney and District 1 City Council candidate Bryan Pease (Democrat) to discuss his candidacy. Interviews with the incumbent, City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner (Democrat), and challenger Ray Ellis (Republican), can be viewed



Though largely known to La Jollans as the maverick attorney working to get a rope barrier separating humans and seals established at the Children’s Pool year-round, Bryan Pease now has another mission: to be elected to the San Diego City Council.

Whether voters agree with Pease’s pro-seal, pro bono legal work, the candidate believes he offers a welcome alternative to fellow Democrat and incumbent, Sherri Lightner.

“I was kind of hoping that somebody would challenge Sherri from the progressive end of the spectrum, rather than just having the choice be between her and a Republican,” said Pease, 33.

Lightner received an early endorsement from the San Diego County Democratic Party. However, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and League of Conservation Voters’ San Diego chapter have yet to endorse a candidate in the race — something Pease believes he can shore up based on Lightner’s support for managed competition, her environmental record and a perceived anti-labor vote on the Walmart issue.

“She voted to not have Walmart have to do an economic impact report on what effect it’s going to have on the community,” said Pease, an upstate New York native who recently purchased a condo in the UTC area. “The league of conservation voters gave her a C+ overall on her environmental report card, which is the worst grade of anyone on the council, other than Carl DeMaio.”

Though Pease has been characterized by those favoring Lightner as a spoiler who will take votes away from the incumbent in the June 5 primary election, he has a different perspective.

“A lot of Democrats are excited about me running — some are not,” he said. “The idea is, well, you’re going to force her to a runoff against Ray in November, but what if Ray were to beat her in June, because a lot more Republicans vote in June

“I think it’s actually better to have a couple of Democrats in the race in June who can appeal to different segments of the voters, and let the voters ultimately decide,” Pease said. “Let’s have more democracy … and a real election here.”

Though he has little experience in public office, Pease once worked for eight months in the legislative office of former New York Assemblyman Peter Rivera. He currently serves on the board of the Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market, a member-owned vegetarian consumer co-op.

“As a board we’ve made fiscally responsible decisions and we’ve paid down the mortgage of the building from $1.5 million owed (to $500,000) since I joined four years ago,” he said. “I know how to read a balance sheet.



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