San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott speaks to union members as she seeks re-election. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot claimed victory Tuesday in her bid to retain her post with an early but significant 68.83% to 31.17% lead over challenger Cory Briggs, an activist attorney.

“When I was elected four years ago, I pledged to put the people of San Diego first, and that’s just what we’ve done,” Elliott said in a statement.

“With the help of our terrific team in the City Attorney’s office, San Diego is a leader in reducing gun violence, helping domestic violence victims, and holding corporate polluters accountable. We moved quickly to protect public health during the pandemic and we’ve made it a priority to safeguard taxpayer dollars. I’m humbled and grateful that the people of San Diego have placed their trust in me to fight for them for another term.”

Elliot, who has been city attorney since 2016, is the first Latina and woman elected to her position. Briggs is a private attorney who ran on a ticket of transparency for taxpayers. Both are Democrats.

In her own words, Elliott has “launched the nationally recognized Gun Violence Restraining Order program to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” and “stepped up support for victims of domestic violence, prosecuted polluters to preserve our environment and safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars to meet our communities’ needs.”

Elliott has taken an uncharacteristically proactive approach to the role, sometimes ruffling feathers, such as with the Smart Streetlights program. In August, members of the San Diego City Council boycotted a meeting with Elliott over restrictions on sensitive documents.

Her competitor, Briggs, has sued the city dozens of times, ostensibly to increase transparency at City Hall. He said he wants to remove petty politics from the office.

The city attorney serves as the city’s prosecutor and legal adviser.

Briggs had not conceded by 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night.

— Updated 10:40 p.m. Nov. 3, 2020

— Staff Report and City News Service

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