The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

November 20, 2013

Faulconer takes big lead in San Diego mayor's race

SAN DIEGO —  A Republican city councilman took a big lead Tuesday in an election to replace the disgraced Bob Filner as San Diego mayor, but early returns showed him falling short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

Kevin Faulconer led a field of 11 candidates with 45 percent of the vote, according to a large batch of results released minutes after polls closed. His strong showing gives Republicans a chance to recapture an office they held for much of the last four decades and an opportunity for a rare win leading a major American city.

Two Democrats were locked in a close contest to face Faulconer in a likely runoff. Nathan Fletcher, an executive at wireless technology titan Qualcomm Inc. and former state assemblyman, had 25.1 percent. David Alvarez, a first-term city councilman, had 22.9 percent.

If no one wins a majority, the top two finishers advance to a runoff.

Filner, the city's first Democratic leader in 20 years, resigned less than nine months into a four-year term after nearly 20 women — including a retired Navy rear admiral and a San Diego State University dean — publicly identified themselves as targets of his unwanted advances, including kissing, groping and requests for dates. He pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery for his behavior toward women during his brief time in office.

Filner, a former 10-term congressman, was barely mentioned in campaign mailers or televised debates. But the major candidates have adopted his successful campaign mantra of pouring more money into neglected neighborhoods, promising more money to repair crumbling streets and sidewalks and faster fire and ambulance response times.

"Nobody is talking about (Filner) but they're all using his narrative of neighborhoods first," said Steve Erie, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego. "They're all talking the talk, but the question is whether they will walk the walk."

Making the Filner debacle a campaign issue carries risk for Republicans because members of the disgraced former mayor's own party were first to expose his behavior, and national and local party leaders, including Alvarez, quickly demanded that he resign, Erie said. Faulconer also has little to gain by highlighting his Republican credentials in an increasingly Democratic city, he said.

Democrats hold a 13-point advantage over Republicans in voter registration in San Diego. Barack Obama trounced Mitt Romney by 25 points among city voters in last year's presidential election.

Faulconer, 46, announced his bid after about 30 Republican leaders and their allies invited him and other potential contenders to the La Jolla living room of a prominent developer, and the group decided to coalesce around him. During his seven years on the City Council, the mild-mannered former public relations executive was a close ally of Mayor Jerry Sanders, Filner's moderate Republican predecessor. He made one of his biggest splashes by supporting a ban on alcohol consumption on city beaches after a Labor Day melee in 2007 in his oceanfront district.

Fletcher, 36, has eluded easy definition, becoming a Democrat in May, barely a year after bolting the Republican Party to become an independent. He is endorsed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and several law enforcement labor unions.

Alvarez, 33, is backed by the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the largest coalition of organized labor.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • news_homesickforprison.jpg Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years

    An ex-con who spent most of his adult life behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a suburban Chicago bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay Marriage Utah [Duplicate] Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_obamalocalschools.jpg Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

    Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0107 Super WAL-MART 1 Wal-Mart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

    The world's largest retailer introduced a new money transfer service Thursday that it says will cut fees for its low-income customers by up to 50 percent compared with similar services elsewhere.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ukraineprotests.jpg Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

    Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement after marathon talks Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_target.jpg Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

    Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last December.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Evacuation came too late for many on sinking ferry

     An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday.

    April 17, 2014

  • 3 protesters killed in attack on Ukrainian base

    The turmoil in Ukraine dominated the European landscape Thursday, as three protesters were killed in a clash in southern Ukraine, high-level talks were held in Geneva and Vladimir Putin weighed in on his neighbor's future for hours from Moscow.

    April 17, 2014

  • news_marathonsecurity.jpg Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_diabetescomplications.jpg Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo