After almost 1,000 days, tens of millions of dollars and one resignation, San Diego’s new mayor looks a lot like the mayors who have come before him.
Kevin Faulconer, a 47-year-old moderate Republican city councilman, won Tuesday night’s special election by a much bigger majority than expected. A jubilant crowd at Faulconer’s downtown election night headquarters only got more jubilant as the night wore on and his early lead held strong.
“Thank you San Diego, thank you San Diego, thank you San Diego,” Faulconer said to his throng of supporters. “I can’t wait to be your next mayor.”
Faulconer’s ascendance ends a nearly three-year process to find a permanent replacement for another moderate Republican mayor, Jerry Sanders. Democrat Bob Filner won in November 2012, but flamed out in less than 10 months after committing a felony related to his treatment of women.
Filner, a combative and unabashedly liberal ex-congressman, was supposed to represent the city’s demographic shift toward greater progressivism and ethnic diversity and away from the downtown-centered, moderate Republican leadership that’s been the hallmark of San Diego city government for decades. But with Faulconer’s victory, Filner’s tenure stands, for now, as a brief detour.
Faulconer looks and acts the part. A San Diego State University grad and former PR man, Faulconer is the city’s longest tenured councilman, representing beach communities and Point Loma. His past support for pension reforms, competitive bidding for city services and the tourism industry puts him in lockstep with Sanders and the center-right coalition that backed him.
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6-3 majority dems on city council make this a moot point, right? What good is a mayor who can't veto anything?
How long will it take for Foulconner to try to give his "$1 billion in pension savings" (hahaha, what a joke) to Spanos for a new stadium?
I hope he keeps his promises of representing, caring about, and working with ALL the neighborhoods of San Diego, East, West, North, South and downtown. Now that he's one of the highest ranking republicans in CA government, I wonder what he has his eyes on, what his next move will be?
Faulconer being elected represents a balance in city government.
Glad this is done as my phone machine is just about worn out
A turnout update. At the end of the evening, turnout wound up at 37.7%. BUT -- the registrar lists 36,000 provisional ballots that have yet to be tabulated. Assuming, for the sake of argument, they all count, that would bump turnout to 43.1%. That's higher than the November primary (and much, much higher than recent mayoral elections in LA and NYC), but significantly smaller than the 70%-plus we saw in the Nov. 2012 primary. @Jed Sundwall
@Liam Dillon Thanks for the update!
Seeing that Scott Sherman and Kevin Faulconer are pals (look the U-T photo gallery), maybe Scott can ask Kevin for some the “Billion Dollar Pension Savings” for fixing roads in Serra Mesa.“Sandrock” is more like a descriptive term for the road; not just a name.
So now that Alvarez won't be Mayor, I guess that the UT won't be writing an editorial suggesting that San Diego be split into two different cities?
Seriously, though, Mr. Faulconer is a good guy and I hope that he continues to be what he represented himself to be, during the campaign. Specifically, a Mayor for all the neighborhoods.
Only about 36% turnout? I wish I could say I was surprised.
Two quick thoughts:
1. This apathy will not stand, man. I consider such low turnout to be a failure, but I'm not sure how to fix it. I wasn't inspired by either of our candidates, but I also don't really want a super charismatic leader – I don't want anyone to think that a magical leader can save us. We could talk about more engaging issues, but I don't want our policy discussions to devolve into shouting matches around wedge issues.
2. Low turnout might be a consequence of our remarkably well-governed region. San Diego's (supposedly) the 2nd safest large city in the country (http://www.infoplease.com/us/cities/safest-dangerous-cities.html). There's plenty of room for reform, but plenty of people also aren't compelled to vote to reform anything. Low turnout is still bad, but it might not be a bad sign.
Really, the easiest and best thing we could probably do is run elections on weekends. Voting on Tuesday is stupid and excludes a lot of people who can't get away from work: http://www.whytuesday.org/
"excludes a lot of people who can't get away from work:"
You don't have to take a day off work when you vote by mail. If voting by mail is an insurmountable hurdle, I wonder how informed the voter is when casting a vote.
@mail voter @Jed Sundwall California Law requires employers to give employees up to 2 hours paid leave to vote, if they do not have sufficient time to vote outside of their work schedule. In fact, according to the Secretary of State "You may take as much time as you need to vote, but only two hours of that time will be paid."