Qualcomm Co-Founder Irwin Jacobs, a Democrat, has announced his support for mayoral candidate and Republican councilman Carl DeMaio.
For DeMaio, the endorsement Thursday represented the bipartisan collaboration he vowed to bring to City Hall if elected, he said. He called Jacobs one of San Diego’s “most influential Democrats.”
Jacobs, 78, is an electrical engineer who chairs the board of UCSD’s Salk Institute. More recently, Jacobs pledged to raise $25 million for a construction project to remove cars from Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama.
The high-profile endorsement was the second of its kind this week. On Tuesday, DeMaio accepted the endorsement of Mayor Jerry Sanders, who previously threw his support behind District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Dumanis did not gain enough votes in the primary to run in the general election.
DeMaio’s opponent, Democrat Congressman Bob Filner, said the endorsements do not worry him. He cited a recent poll which showed him ahead of DeMaio as evidence that a broader base of voters want to see him win.
“It didn’t work before –both [Jerry] Sanders and Mr. Jacobs endorsed Bonnie Dumanis and she came in last,” Filner said. “So I’m not particularly worried about those endorsements.”
Filner added that DeMaio’s list of endorsements shows his commitment to special interests, rather than the interests of San Diegans.
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Filner challenges integrity of Jacobs and Sanders, calling them sell-outs,” DeMaio told NBC 7 San Diego. “He has chosen to attack their character because they disagree with him.”
The two debated at the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning. The candidates introduced themselves in Spanish and discussed their plans to reduce border wait times and bring the culture of San Ysidro closer to the city.
Filner represented San Ysidro in both Congress and in City Hall and said his familiarity with the border community and Mexico will enable his administration to spark economic stimulation to the area.
“We should make San Ysidro the center – not the cul-de-sac – of our city because we are a bi-national region,” Filner said of the community.
DeMaio said he will take a regional approach to improving San Diego’s economy, improving the infrastructure in San Ysidro and encouraging trade and investment in the area.
“The border presents a major opportunity with our mega-region and bi-national economy,” DeMaio said.
Both candidates will debate again at this Saturday’s Politifest beginning at 10:30 a.m. Click here for more information on the event.