By Megan Burks
The race for the District 9 City Council seat was whittled down to a single candidate Wednesday after Georgette Gómez told San Diego News Room she would no longer run for the position. That leaves current District 7 Councilwoman Marti Emerald as the lone candidate for the newly formed district.
Gómez entered the race in August following the redistricting of City Heights, a process that chiseled out a Latino-majority district and buoyed support for a minority candidate.
A Latina heavily involved with nonprofit work in City Heights, Gómez fit the bill and seemed to be a favorite among community organizers and residents. She gained an endorsement from former candidate Katherine Eaton, who dropped out of the race last month. Araceli Martinez, who also withdrew her bid in October, stopped short of a full endorsement but told SDNR she was “leaning more toward Ms. Gómez.”
Gómez works full-time for the Environmental Health Coalition advocating for improved air quality in low-income communities.
|“Everything went pretty quickly after the redistricting was done, and I went at this full force,” she said. “I never really evaluated to myself what this meant to my life and my work. Right now I have a full-time job with a nonprofit and even though my work was very supportive, I saw this as juggling two very important things and knew I needed to focus on just one.”
Pulling out of the race, she said, “was the right thing to do.”
Gómez told SDNR she would endorse Emerald, who recently moved to the College Area after selling her Tierrasanta home. Emerald currently represents the northeast corner of City Heights in District 7, as well as the College Area neighborhoods.
|Gómez said her decision to back Emerald stems from her belief that she “is a fair person who will do the right thing for the community.”
“Marti intends to form a number of community partnerships, and she won’t be a bad person to represent this community if those partnerships are formed,” she said.
Emerald, a white woman with a City Council term already under her belt, seems opposite the kind of grassroots candidate redistricting volunteers aimed to empower with a new Latino-majority district. But Emerald has maintained her presence in the community, is considered labor-friendly and typically votes with current and often revered City Heights representative Todd Gloria.