Mayoral Candidates Spar at 'Spirit of the Barrio'

Questions focused on health care, medical marijuana and neighborhood and community issues

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    NEWSLETTERS

    With just a little more than two weeks from the June primary election, San Diego's mayoral campaign is getting edgier, personal and free-spending.

    If you've been reading the political mailers, seeing and hearing the campaigns' broadcast spots, you know they're long snark and hyperbole.

    Friday afternoon, the four major candidates squared off in their twenty-first of two dozen scheduled debates.

    Their audience: Guests at the annual "Spirit of the Barrio" luncheon, hosted by the Family Health Centers of San Diego.

    Questions focused on health care, needle exchanges, medical marijuana, housing, economics and neighborhood and community issues.

    Check out some clips from our mayoral debate last month.

    Then the candidates were asked what their first act would be, upon becoming mayor.

    "Well, I'm not waiting to be elected to get that act done," said Councilman Carl DeMaio "And that's comprehensive pension reform, to end our fiscal crisis at City Hall."

    District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis emphasized her managerial experience on this question.

    "We are going to bring everybody together, we're going to cut the red tape, and change the culture at City Hall to help business," she said. "We need to get jobs to San Diego."

    Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher took a similar approach to the question, making note of one of his platform goals to bring more tech jobs to San Diego.

    "We are going to work together, rebrand our city as the world's most innovative," Fletcher said. "W'ere going to implement our infrastructure plan, we're going to execute our economic plan to get people back to work."

    Representative Bob Filner took a jab at the UT-San Diego, whose editorial staff endorsed opponent DeMaio.

    "I'm tempted to say I'd go the the Union-Tribune and say 'Thank you for getting me elected'. Because they've indicated I'm the one the downtown establishment may fear most. Because I'm going to put people first, our neighborhoods first."

    Next on the schedule will be a live, hour-long debate Sunday at 6 p.m., on NBC 7.

    It'll be moderated by our Catherine Garcia. Mark Mullen will join NBC 7 political reporter Gene Cubbison on the Q&A panel, along with Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis.

    For more coverage of this race and guides to this election, check out our Decision 2012 feature page.