Tuesday, a spat broke out between Carl DeMaio and a consultant who had worked for his 2012 mayoral campaign. It seemed unexpected because it produced a rare public rebuke of the candidate from someone ostensibly on his side.
It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, though. It was the first surfacing of a year’s worth of awkwardness, if not hostility, between DeMaio and several of the people who helped him rise to the top of San Diego’s Republican Party politics.
It began late last summer when conservative and business leaders chose to support Kevin Faulconer in the special mayoral race to replace Bob Filner, who had resigned in disgrace. Since then, a feud between DeMaio and the consultants who ran his 2012 mayoral campaign has simmered under the surface.
Now it’s no longer hidden and it threatens to become a bigger distraction for DeMaio, who is in a tight race for Congress against incumbent Democratic Rep. Scott Peters. DeMaio’s falling out with his former consultants might also explain erratic campaign moves and some of his increasingly passionate critiques of people he referred to this week as “so-called Republicans.”