The 2022 primary is fairly routine in San Diego with one giant exception. It is generally accepted that the Republicans are the party of the Second Amendment, and the Democrats aren’t. The Democrats have earned their reputation, considering the origin of most of the horribly restrictive gun laws in California.
The Republican Party, however, hasn’t done nearly as much to earn their reputation; instead, they merely benefit from not being the bad guys when it comes to voting. That lack of effort has led to Republicans taking the gun owner vote for granted and an interesting twist in this year’s election. There are two major races in San Diego County that feature an anti-gun Republican-endorsed candidate running against two pro-Second Amendment Democrat front runners.
Chula Vista is the second most populous city in San Diego County with more than 275,000 residents. There is an election for their next mayor and the seat is wide open. The Republican Party endorsed John McCann, despite his votes to ban guns and magazines while on the Chula Vista City Council. In August of 2019 Republican John McCann was the deciding vote for the Chula Vista City Council to send a demand letter to the federal government insisting that common, popular firearms and normal capacity magazines be banned nationwide. McCann voted for this gun ban despite telling San Diego County Gun Owners he would not and despite knowing he had the votes to block the demand letter.
Democrat mayoral frontrunners Ammar Campa-Najjar and Chula Vista Council Member Jill Galvez have a history of being pro-Second Amendment. During his run for Congress, Campa-Najjar was very vocal about his support for the right to keep and bear arms. He freely spoke about his opposition of gun bans like California’s “Assault Weapon Ban” and magazine bans. He produced a campaign commercial featuring him shooting firearms from his personal collection. Chula Vista Council Member Jill Galvez was one of the votes against the gun ban and magazine ban demand letter that McCann supported. Her voting record speaks for itself, and she did it despite having opposition from the majority of the council (thanks to McCann).
Let’s turn to the second race featuring pro-Second Amendment Democrats running against an endorsed Republican who is anti-gun. The race for San Diego County Sheriff is one of the largest races in the county, since every county resident is eligible to vote.
The Republicans endorsed John Hemmerling despite having no experience running a sheriff’s department or police department, having no endorsements, having raised no money, and having only recently registered as Republican. So what makes Hemmerling anti-gun? Hemmerling spent the last 4 years of his career working with anti-gun extremist San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott in expanding the use of a new California law that severely lowers the standards required for law enforcement to take firearms from people who have not been convicted of a crime. In San Diego, these are called Gun Violence Restraining Orders, which are expanded versions of what are commonly known as “red flag laws.”
Hemmerling spent countless hours making sure that law enforcement agencies across the state were making Gun Violence Restraining Orders standard procedure, rather than just used as “red flag” laws. Now your coworker, your kids’ teacher, or a disgruntled roommate can get all of your firearms taken away based entirely on an accusation. Hemmerling is on record saying that this is “good for gun owners.” The gun owner who gets falsely accused, and San Diego County Gun Owners, disagree.
Hemmerling is such a poor candidate that two more Republicans jumped into the race at the last minute. Both cited how disappointed they were with Hemmerling’s endorsement as a reason for running.
The Democratic Party front runners are Dave Myers and Kelly Martinez. Both have served over 30 years in the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and both have served on the San Diego Sheriff’s Command Staff. Both are strongly supportive of issuing concealed carry permits (CCWs) and the right to bear arms.
Martinez is the current undersheriff and has been attentive to the needs of CCW applicants by giving the licensing division more resources to cut down wait times and streamlining the process. For all that she has done to help with CCW, her long history of success with the department, and her expressed views on the Second Amendment, San Diego County Gun Owners proudly endorses Kelly Martinez for Sheriff.
Say what you will about the Democrats mentioned in the article. Those who disagree with the Democratic candidates on most things, may understandably be inclined to question their sincerity on Second Amendment issues. However, these Democrats have supported the Second Amendment in deed, not just in word. They have voted publicly or acted decisively to support the rights of sane, trained, law-abiding gun owners in San Diego County. Their votes and action are without question.
John McCann and John Hemmerling, too, have acted decisively. Both are on record doing something to negatively impact the rights of San Diegans to keep and bear arms. Their votes and actions are too without question. The Second Amendment knows no party and the Democrats in San Diego appear to waking up to that fact. They know that gun owners have no party loyalty and that the Second Amendment equals safety for individuals. Safety and security also knows no party loyalty. The Republican Party has enjoyed the luxury of not being as wrong about gun control and gun confiscation as the Democrats in the past. The 2022 San Diego Republican Party endorsements appear to be changing all of that.
For more endorsements by San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, please see our voter guide here: https://sandiegocountygunowners.com/voterguide/