Proposition 6 was a San Diego County effort from start to finish.
The ballot measure would have repealed a 12-cent gas tax increase and vehicle registration fee the Legislature passed last year. The effort began with former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio.
On election night, DeMaio stood in the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, Republican Party headquarters for the night. He told supporters his campaign would continue the fight to repeal the gas tax despite the proposition failing by 10 points.
inewsource reported on how DeMaio used his conservative radio talk show to build a team of signature-gatherers who put Prop. 6 on the ballot. More than one-fifth of the almost 1 million signatures came from San Diego County.
The grassroots campaign raised more than $5 million. The effort became a rallying cry for prominent Republican candidates on the ballot, including governor candidate John Cox of Rancho Santa Fe and 49th Congressional District candidate Diane Harkey of Dana Point. Both donated to the Prop. 6 campaign. Both candidates also lost their elections.
But the gas tax repeal campaign was no match for the opposition campaign, which raised more than $32 million. The money came mostly from labor unions and construction companies. In the days before the election, with some polls suggesting the repeal would pass, Gov. Jerry Brown rallied with the opposition.
inewsource’s maps of election results show Prop. 6 failed in Democratic-leaning counties and succeeded in Republican-leaning ones. Most coastal counties, including San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, voted against the proposition. But it succeeded among inland counties and in Orange and San Diego counties.
The partisan divide appears within San Diego County, too. More rural and Republican-leaning portions of the county supported the measure, including swaths of unincorporated land in East County. It failed in city of San Diego and along the coast.
Overall, 53 percent of San Diego County voters supported the measure and 47 percent opposed it.
The registrar’s office is continuing to count 490,000 mail-in and provisional ballots. The office has 30 days from the election to certify the official results.
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