David Alvarez Has Lost a Lot of Influence with Fellow Democrats

Politics

David Alvarez Has Lost a Lot of Influence With Fellow Democrats

Once the Democrats’ choice for mayor, City Councilman David Alvarez can’t even get a party endorsement.

City Councilman David Alvarez speaks at the San Diego County Democratic election party on June 5. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This post originally appeared in the Oct. 13 Politics Report. Get the Politics Report delivered every Saturday right to your inbox. 

One thing that’s become clear in the 2018 cycle is just how much sway Councilman David Alvarez has lost within the local Democratic Party.

Five years after running for mayor, Alvarez doesn’t have his party’s support for a seat on the San Diego Community College District.

Alvarez is running against Sean Elo, a longtime local activist and first-time candidate. At the onset of his campaign, Alvarez said he’d step down from the seat in 2020 if his bid for the County Board of Supervisors is successful.

Elo doesn’t just have the county Democratic Party’s support. He’s also got endorsements from Alvarez’s Council colleague Councilwoman Barbary Bry and Rep. Scott Peters – both speculated 2020 mayoral contenders – and state Sens. Ben Hueso and Kevin De Leon. Alvarez isn’t on an island; the San Diego Building Trades Council, among others, supports his bid.

But Alvarez also couldn’t deliver the party’s endorsement to his staffer, Vivian Moreno, who’s running to replace him in District 8. That race has become a proxy fight for old South Bay political rivalries.

Alvarez’s declining influence – from party standard-bearer as a mayoral nominee, to unendorsed Community College District candidate – is even more surprising given a move he made in 2016.

Then, Alvarez ran a slate of allies for seats on the county Democratic Party’s central committee. Many won. The whole point was to gain influence for precisely these sorts of situations. It didn’t work out that way for Alvarez’s current run, or his staffer’s.

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