The national blue wave of Democratic votes did not save San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre tonight.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Jan Goldsmith appears well on his way to ousting Aguirre, the first-term incumbent whose aggressive and sometimes abrasive tactics ticked off the City Council, labor unions, Republicans, the attorney general and many others.
A good night for judges, after the jump
Aguirre had hoped a big Democratic turnout would lift him to victory over Goldsmith, a former Republican assemblyman. But with a third of precincts reporting, Aguirre was winning less than 40 percent of the vote in the two-man race.
Aguirre's loss will probably mean the end of the city's bad-mortgage lawsuits against Countrywide, Wachovia and Washington Mutual since Goldsmith has promised a more restrained approach to running the office. And that will probably make Jerry Brown happy since he wasn't too keen on Aguirre going rogue with his own lender lawsuits.
Aguirre's campaign consultant may have had the best line of the night. Chris Crotty told the San Diego Union-Tribune "Quite frankly, I think that given the political environment, I'm not sure there was anything we could do ... He pissed off everybody."
Apparently it was a good night for judges on the ballot everywhere. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Peter McBrien was easily winning his retention election with 97 percent of the vote late Tuesday. McBrien, already in trouble for axing view-blocking trees near his home, is now under investigation by judicial watchdogs for allegedly walking out in the middle of a divorce trial. His opponent, Third District Court of Appeal attorney Matthew Smith, could only muster 3 percent of the vote.
— Cheryl Miller