San Diego County Gun Owners executive director Michael Schwartz (left) says his group has endorsed candidates like Scott Sherman because “it is crucial that voters elect solidly pro-gun candidates.” Images via SDCGO

Councilman Scott Sherman, the lone Republican candidate for San Diego mayor, has won endorsement from San Diego County Gun Owners, a political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights.

And the backing could come with money.

“SDCGO political expenditures are still under discussion and in a state of continuous flux, but we are looking to spend six figures total in 2020 on independent expenditures,” Michael Schwartz, the PAC’s executive director, said Monday.

The PAC last month announced its local endorsements ahead of the March 3 primary election.

Also leading SDCGO’s list of endorsed candidates are two GOP candidates for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors — Joel Anderson, a former State Assemblyman and state senator for the District 2 seat, and Alex Galicia for the District 1 seat.

Schwartz says candidates were interviewed in person, and research was completed on their voting record relating to preserving the Second Amendment, as well as their public comments and character.

The SDCGO advisory board then ratified each endorsement.

“It is crucial that voters elect solidly pro-gun candidates who will speak out and defend the fundamental right to self-defense for law-abiding citizens, oppose an extremist gun-control agenda, and stand strong in support of the Second Amendment,” Schwartz said.

“We take seriously these endorsements. We are proud to support local candidates who believe the purpose of the Second Amendment as an important and valuable individual right. We are committed to restoring and protecting our rights in California by getting volunteers involved in local level activism and outreach.”

In September, San Diego’s Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, approved 6-2 by the City Council in July, took effect. The law requires all San Diego residents to safely lock or store firearms that are inside their residences, unless the weapon is being carried on the body or in the immediate control of its owner or another authorized user.

Sherman and Councilman Chris Cate were the votes against the ordinance.

According to inewsource, SDCGOA hasn’t reported financial contributions to any candidates or committee since April 2018, and checks for two 2017 donations of $1,200 to the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County PAC were voided.

The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, advance to a November runoff.

Anderson is hoping to succeed 28-year incumbent Dianne Jacob, who has endorsed Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, another Republican.

The 2nd District, the largest of the county’s five districts, takes in more than 2,000 square miles and 50-plus communities and cities in the East County, including unincorporated Lakeside, Alpine, Ramona and Julian along with the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee and Poway, as well as the city of San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, College Area, Del Cerro, Grantville, Navajo, Rolando and San Carlos.

Galicia is hoping to succeed Greg Cox, who was appointed in 1995 to replace Brian Bilbray, who moved on to the House of Representatives.

The 1st District includes the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and communities within Southeast San Diego, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs and parts of downtown San Diego. The district also includes the unincorporated communities of Bonita, Sunnyside, Lincoln Acres and East Otay Mesa.

Since 2012, Sherman has served on the San Diego City Council representing District 7. Sherman, termed out of his seat, is running to replace Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who also is termed out.

Among other SDCGO endorsements:

  • Joe Leventhal, San Diego City Council, District 5.
  • Noli Zosa, San Diego City Council, District 7.
  • Michelle Nguyen, San Diego City Council, District 3.
  • Mike Diaz, Chula Vista City Council.
  • Marco Cisneros, San Diego Unified School Board
  • Jordan Gascon, Grossmont Community College Board.
  • Tamara Rodriguez, County Board of Education, District 2.
  • And Daniel Piedra, San Diego College Board, District B.

Story updated at 10:05 p.m. Feb. 17, 2020

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