Councilman Carl DeMaio secured the backing of San Diego County’s Republican Party on Saturday, causing a stir among the race’s mostly GOP contestants.
DeMaio needed the approval of two-thirds of the 59 voting members of the Republican Party of San Diego County to gain the endorsement. Thirty-nine members voted for his endorsement – that’s exactly two thirds.
The party released a statement announcing their endorsement, saying they picked DeMaio for his tough fiscal stances and “grassroots enthusiasm.”
DeMaio calls himself the “taxpayer watchdog” and has championed the conservative-backed Comprehensive Pension Reform measure, which would transition city employees from a pension system to a 401(k) defined contribution system.
For a brief background on the CPR, click here.
“Today’s vote shows that this Party is united behind the fiscal reform agenda that San Diego desperately needs,” said Chairman of the party Tony Krvaric. “We are committed to advancing reform with a complete slate of candidates and initiatives.”
Krvaric said the endorsement will afford DeMaio some extra volunteers and financial resources.
The endorsement followed a contemptuous mailing of documents that painted his opponent Fletcher as a Republican in name only. The documents, mailed anonymously to voting members of the party about a week ago, gave Fletcher a failing grade for his voting record on conservative issues.
DeMaio’s camp neither confirmed nor denied the allegations that they sent out the report cards.
On Friday, Fletcher told NBC San Diego the report’s dissemination will only worsen partisan politics and disengage voters.
“He called on city workers to take a 6 percent pay cut, which he refused to do, while he gave his staff pay raises and bonuses,” Fletcher said.
“That’s a watchdog that’s all bark and no bite.”
Fletcher’s campaign also released a statement following DeMaio’s endorsement:
“We are proud of the broad base of support Nathan has. People like Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblyman Mark Wyland, the California Small Business Association and others agree Nathan is the kind of tough leader San Diego needs. We look forward to growing that coalition to move San Diego forward.”
For more on the mayoral candidates and the issues facing this year’s elections, visit our Decision 2012 page.