Election 2022: Petterson, Williams look set for SDUSD runoff; plus 50th Congressional, 38th state Senate

Cody Petterson and Becca Williams
Cody Petterson and Becca Williams appear headed for the November election for the San Diego Unified School District board’s District C seat.
(Courtesy photos)

Here are early results from the June 7 primary election in races in districts including La Jolla: the San Diego Unified School District’s District C, the 50th Congressional District and the 38th California Senate District. For other races, visit or

SDUSD District C

Cody Petterson was leading in early results in the primary race for the San Diego Unified School District board seat that covers the western part of the district, with Becca Williams in second place and Lily Higman in third. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

Petterson, a government affairs manager, had 45 percent of the votes; Williams, a curriculum company manager, had 32 percent; and Higman, a parent of three children at Pacific Beach Middle and Mission Bay High schools, had 23 percent.

Current District C trustee Michael McQuary did not run for reelection.

Three people are running for the San Diego Unified School District board to fill the District C seat being vacated by incumbent Michael McQuary.

Petterson, who has two children attending Torrey Pines Elementary School in La Jolla, said he wants to use the school board position to advocate for more state and federal funding for public schools and help schools adapt to the financial pains of declining enrollment.

Williams, who has two young children not old enough for K-12 school, said she wants the district to focus on the basics of improving students’ reading and math proficiency and has voiced concerns about how the district teaches other topics, such as ethnic studies.

Williams raised the most campaign money of the District C candidates — $67,798, including a $5,000 loan from herself, and spent $33,540.

Petterson received the endorsement of the San Diego Unified teachers union, which had spent $80,500 on mailers and digital ads for him as of May 21.

50th Congressional District

Republican Corey Gustafson (left) and Democratic Rep. Scott Peters
Republican Corey Gustafson (left) and Democratic Rep. Scott Peters appear headed to the November election for the 50th Congressional District seat.
(File photos)

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-La Jolla) had a big lead for the top spot in the primary election for the 50th Congressional District seat, while Republican Corey Gustafson was comfortably in second place, setting up a race between the two in November.

Peters had 53.5 percent of the vote in early returns and Gustafson had 30.5 percent, followed by candidates Kylie Taitano (8 percent), David Chiddick (5 percent) and Adam Schindler (3 percent).

Five candidates are on the June 7 primary ballot in the campaign for the 50th Congressional District seat that represents coastal and north inland San Diego County, including La Jolla.

The 50th Congressional District is a new district drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission based on the
2020 U.S. Census. It includes much of the area in the former 52nd District, which Peters has represented since taking office in 2013.

Gustafson, a business owner and educator from Escondido, says his top domestic priorities are stopping inflation, creating jobs and reducing crime.

Peters says his top domestic priorities include investment in scientific research and military infrastructure, veterans assistance and fighting climate change and cross-border pollution.

38th state Senate District

Catherine Blakespear and Matt Gunderson are on their way to the November election in California Senate District 38.
(Courtesy photos)

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear and small-business owner Matt Gunderson appear headed for the November general election in a state Senate District 38 race between a Democratic progressive and an anti-tax Republican.

Gunderson and Blakespear were neck and neck with 45 percent and 43 percent of the vote, respectively. Democrat Joe Kerr had just under 11 percent. The top two vote-getters advance.

The district runs from southern Orange County south through La Jolla to Mission Beach.

The three candidates running for state Senate in the newly redrawn 38th District all list California’s supply of affordable housing for lower-income residents as one of their three top issues.

On the campaign trail, Blakespear touted her environmental record, including an Encinitas building ordinance that limits the use of natural gas in new construction, installing new barrier-protected bike lanes and supporting a utility alternative known as San Diego Community Power. She also supports efforts to address burdensome housing costs through building subsidized housing, cracking down on illegal vacation rentals and fast-tracking approval of accessory dwelling units.

Gunderson has called for building more dams to address drought, freezing fuel taxes to give drivers relief from spiking gas prices and imposing harsher penalties for crimes that include guns. He is opposed to stricter gun-control laws and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. ◆