Decision 2020

San Diego Mayoral Seat Up for Grabs

Housing, Homelessness & Development remain big issues for the city of San Diego, and ones that will need to be addressed by the next moyor

A "Vote Here" sign

An important and sought-after political job in California is up for grabs, that of San Diego Mayor.

Current mayor Kevin Faulkner is ineligible to run for a third time due to term limits.

The non-partisan primary election to replace him will be held Tuesday, March 3 with the general election to be held November 3.

The four leading candidates all have long histories in town. Some have strong name recognition. One is a community advocate. Here's a little about the candidates:

Barbara Bry

She first won a city council seat in 2016 backed by the Democratic establishment though she now defines herself more as an independent, grass roots candidate. Bry is opposed to short-term home rental platforms like Airbnb and electric scooters, and considers herself restrained on housing development.

“When I got to City Hall, I found a policy of no accountability and no transparency and I stood up to it immediately," Bry said. "I opposed the SoccerCity land grab, I demanded an independent audit of the water department, and I called out 101 Ash street and why is it sitting empty costing tax payers 18 thousand dollars a day?"

Todd Gloria

The Democratic State Assembly member spent eight years on the San Diego City Council and served as interim mayor when Bob Filner stepped down in controversy. 

The pro-infrastructure candidate jokes a freshly paved street is sexy. But he is progressive in dealing with homelessness and on many social issues.

Approaching Election Day, Gloria has the endorsement of the county's Democratic party and also the Regional Chamber of Commerce, which historically backs a Republican.

"Broadly speaking, I think San Diego too often operates as a small town instead of Americas eighth biggest city which it is. And I’m interested in us getting past the small issues that so often trip us up as a city and instead focus on the big issues facing San Diego and that’s homelessness, that’s our transportation infrastructure and that’s housing affordability,"  Gloria told NBC 7.

Scott Sherman

The Republican Council member and former businessman has spoken often of his disdain for public office. So why run for mayor?

He says voters have asked him because plenty still needs to be done like facilitating more housing for the middle class, adding that people in subsidized housing moving up the economic ladder have trouble finding a home.

Sherman says "If you look at my track record getting things done with housing and 'Wheels of Change' and with a whole bunch of other programs -- we worked with five years as head of the audit committee -- and all these things at the city to make it run better, I think my record speaks for itself."

Tasha Williamson

Williamson is the most unconventional candidate. She worked as a community advocate and sometimes led protests against elected officials, though she now aims to join their ranks.

That is why she thinks she's the right choice.

In an interview with NBC 7, Williamson said “When we have an economy that grows, we all benefit. When you look at cities where people are working, where they ended homelessness, everybody is happy. People with money don’t want homeless people in their neighborhood. Why wouldn’t you want to walk alongside me to end homelessness?”

Also on the ballot are Gila Applebaum Singh and Rich Riel.

Though the race is considered non-partisan, three of the four leading candidates are Democrats. Only the top two vote-getters regardless of party will advance to the November general election.

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