With all precincts counted, Jacobs led with 29.6% — ahead of San Diego Council President Georgette Gómez with 18.6%. Republican Chris Stoddard had 14% in the Democrat-packed field in hopes of succeeding 10-term Rep. Susan Davis, who retires at the end of her term in January.
But Gómez made uncredited mailers an issue when she filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over what she considered a Jacobs effort to boost Stoddard’s prospects.
Jacobs, a 31-year-old granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, raised $2 million and spent $1.8 million as of mid-February — with $1.55 million her own money. That was well ahead of $658,000 raised by Gómez, endorsed by the state Democratic Party.
Asked Tuesday night how she planned to deal with Jacobs’ financial advantage, Gómez told Times of San Diego: “We’re going to continue delivering the message…. Money is not all. It’s actually having someone that is able to connect with the voters that has a track record of getting things done. I’m the only one.”
Former Marine Janessa Goldbeck, one of 11 Democrats on the ballot, had raised $250,000 but also netted the surprise endorsement of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Goldbeck also targeted Jacobs, saying at a recent debate: “We need more democracy in this country, not more oligarchy.””
Jacobs has said 75% of her contributions were $100 or less. Noting her work in the Obama administration, she said she supported campaign finance reform and the need to “urgently pass” a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Nurse Famela Ramos, one of three Republicans in the race, had raised nearly $50,000. The GOP’s Stoddard — runner-up in a single poll last month — reported no donations.
The other Democrats included two who entered the race before Davis pulled out — Navy veteran and small businessman Jose Caballero, a Bernie Sanders progressive — and Joaquín Vázquez, an Obama administration policy adviser and former community organizer.
Equality California, which calls itself the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, was happy with the result.
In a statement, the group’s executive director Rick Chavez Zbur said: “Each would be a phenomenal advocate for our LGBTQ+ community and all San Diegans in Congress,” and noted that Jacobs is the sister to a transgender brother & gender-nonconforming sibling.
“Jacobs would provide a unique and valuable perspective and critical leadership in the fight for transgender equality in Congress, he said while “Georgette Gómez would become the first openly LGBTQ+ Latina ever elected to Congress and an invaluable partner in Washington as we work to achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people.”
Updated at 3:50 a.m. March 4, 2020