Ray Ellis drops out of District 1 race for San Diego City Council


In an e-mail to his supporters, Republican candidate Ray Ellis announced that he is exiting the November election for the District 1 San Diego City Council seat. “I do not believe there is a viable path to victory in November’s City Council runoff,” he said in a statement.

District 1 voters gave Democrat Barbara Bry 48.40 percent of the support in the primary election held on June 7 with 18,559 votes, ahead of Ray Ellis who obtained 33.86 percent of the support (12,982 individual votes). The remaining three candidates, Bruce Lightner, Louis Rodolico and Kyle Heiskala, obtained less than 10 percent of the votes.

In the 2012 City Council election, when Ellis faced current councilmember Sherri Lightner, he received more support than his opponent in the primary with a 45 percent of the vote. In the general election, Lightner beat Ellis with 53 percent to 47 percent.

Ellis mentions the shift in his support from the past electoral cycle, “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 percent swing for Democrats in District 1 compared to the June 2012 primary. Back then, Republicans enjoyed a 4 percent turnout advantage in District 1. This past June, Democrats enjoyed a 13 percent advantage.”

Although the City Council election is non-partisan, Ellis blames, in part, the divisive national political climate for his decision. He wrote, “As we look to November, I believe the toxicity and the divisiveness at the top of ticket will get worse. My values are important to me and I will not support presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

He also congratulated candidate Bry, who despite Ellis calling it quits, still needs to obtain the majority of votes in the November election, when his name will still be on the ballot.

In a statement, Bry urges her volunteers to continue the campaign efforts. “Ray Ellis’ name will remain on the ballot, so we still need to win in November by communicating our policies to a larger electorate. Our organizing effort will also extend beyond the campaign. The success of an organization depends of the strength of its team — and our team will be stronger with community input and engagement in the policy process.”

Of Ellis, Bry highlighted his commitment to public service. “I look forward to seeing how he will continue his track record of civic engagement. Vigorous debate is the foundation of democracy, and I believe more points of view contributed to a more diverse and constructive debate,” she wrote.

“I plan on continuing our volunteer-driven, grassroots campaign and listening to the needs of the residents in La Jolla, University City, Del Mar Heights and Carmel Valley through neighborhood coffees and knocking on doors,” Bry concluded.

Ellis’ statement is available on his website