City of San Diego

Jurisdiction Analysis
Jurisdiction map

The City of San Diego operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, where the Mayor acts as the city's chief executive and the City Council as its legislative body. The separation of powers within this framework allows for a clear delineation of responsibilities: the Mayor oversees administrative functions and the City Council enacts ordinances, budgets, and policies.

San Diego's City Council is composed of nine members, each representing one of the city's nine districts. These council members are elected through a two-round system in non-partisan elections, which ensures that candidates who proceed to the general election are those who receive the highest votes in the primary, regardless of whether any candidate achieves an outright majority. This electoral system is structured to enhance fairness and encourage broad representation. Council members serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, a rule designed to foster new leadership and ideas within the council.

Elections are synchronized with the general election cycle, with primary elections held in March and general elections in November of even-numbered years. This timing aligns with larger electoral processes to facilitate voter participation.

Recent redistricting, following the latest census, reflects efforts to ensure equitable representation, adjusting district boundaries to account for population changes and shifts. This process is critical for maintaining a balanced representation that mirrors the city's diverse demographic and geographic makeup.

Term limits and the staggered term structure further aim to maintain a dynamic and responsive City Council, by preventing long-term incumbency and ensuring continuity in governance. This governance structure, alongside the electoral process and recent redistricting efforts, forms the backbone of San Diego's approach to local governance, emphasizing democratic engagement and representation.

List of Offices & Districts
Current Registration Data (As of January 02, 2024)
796,008 47.03% 20.87% 32.10% D +26.16%
Candidate Performance
Election DEM REP Margin Turnout
2022 Gubernatorial Newsom - 65.14% Dahle - 34.86% D +30.3%
2020 Presidential Biden - 68.53% Trump - 29.12% D +39.41% 82.90%
2018 Gubernatorial Newsom - 65.81% Cox - 34.19% D +31.62% 43.92%
2016 Presidential Clinton - 64.8% Trump - 27.55% D +37.25% 80.54%
2014 Gubernatorial Brown - 60.0% Kashkari - 40.0% D +20.00% 44.41%
2012 Presidential Obama - 61.04% Romney - 36.28% D +24.76% 76.26%
Ballot Measure Performance
Ballot Item Description Yes No Margin
Prop 51 (2016) School Facility Bonds 58.39% 41.61% 16.78%
Prop 62 (2016) Death Penalty Repeal 49.51% 50.49% -0.98%
Prop 6 (2018) Gas Tax Repeal 42.12% 57.88% -15.76%
Prop 15 (2020) Prop 13 Split-Roll 50.73% 49.27% 1.47%
Prop 16 (2020) Repeal Affirmative Action 46.48% 53.52% -7.05%
Prop 21 (2020) Allow Local Rent Control 43.16% 56.84% -13.69%