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San Diego Mayor’s Race Sees A Mayor Endorsement And New Poll


Carl Luna, political science professor, Mesa College

Katie Orr, KPBS Metro reporter


Sanders Endorses DeMaio

Mayor Jerry Sanders endorsed mayoral candidate and City Councilmember Carl DeMaio.

Mayor Jerry Sanders created some surprising news Tuesday when he endorsed City Councilman Carl DeMaio to be his mayoral successor. His opponent, Congressman Bob Filner, widened his lead in the mayoral race in a poll released the same day.

Carl Luna, a political science professor at Mesa College, said he was surprised by the news.

"I thought particularly after the Tampa commercial the mayor did dealing with including gays and lesbians in the Republican coalition, he was beginning to make that transition to senior statesman above the fray," he said. "But, what apparently has happened is his supporters, the close personal confidants, the power structure of the city, during the primary a lot of them dated (state Assemblyman Nathan) Fletcher or (District Attorney Bonnie) Dumanis, but they're going to end up marrying Carl DeMaio. And the mayor felt beholden to 'dance with those who brung ya' and support Carl."

The relationship between Sanders and DeMaio has been notoriously frosty. Sanders said they don’t talk much and haven’t always gotten along. But Sanders said Tuesday he cared about the city too much to "sit out" the endorsement.

DeMaio has consistently voting against Sanders' budgets because, Sanders said, they didn’t fit DeMaio’s storyline of "financial doom and gloom." At a news conference in May, Sanders blasted DeMaio in a now-famous quote for taking credit for fiscal reforms made in the city.

"He probably takes credit for my weight loss; he probably takes credit for the weeds I pulled in the backyard last week. It’s all bulls--t." Sanders said.

At the press conference Tuesday, DeMaio was asked if he could go back, would he still have voted against Sanders' budgets, and DeMaio said he would.

A 10News and SurveyUSA poll of likely voters out Tuesday put Filner up 12 points over DeMaio, 50 percent to 38 percent.

"Pick a group, and that group is breaking for Bob Filner," Luna said. "Even people over 65 are spit 44-44 in the poll. I found it very interesting that the Dumanis and particularly the Nathan Fletcher supporters in the primary are breaking heavily for Bob Filner, even if people with higher visibility like Jerry Sanders and other interests in the city have been breaking toward Carl DeMaio.

"So even male, white males in particular, that you would think he'd be breaking for a Republican candidate aren't breaking for him. And margins with other groups, Latino, African Americans, education for everybody but just for some college, all the groups are breaking fairly significantly for Filner."

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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