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Top Candidates Meet For San Diego Mayoral Debate

Evening Edition

The debate takes a two-minute sponsor break halfway through the event and resumes afterwards.


Aired 10/14/13


Mike Aguirre, San Diego mayoral candidate Mike Aguirre was San Diego's City Attorney from 2004 until 2008. He's now a partner in the San Diego law firm Aguirre Morris & Severson LLP.

David Alvarez, City Councilman, San Diego Mayoral Candidate

Nathan Fletcher, Former State Assemblyman

San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer is a candidate for mayor. He has represented San Diego's Council District 2 since 2006.


Special Feature Special Election

— The spotlight turned on front-runners Nathan Fletcher and Kevin Faulconer during a debate today in which San Diego's mayoral candidates were allowed to ask a question of each other.

Fletcher, a former assemblyman who left the Republican Party last year to become an independent and eventually re-registered as a Democrat, was asked about changing positions. Faulconer, a city councilman, was questioned on whether he regretted not spending more money on the San Diego Police Department and whether the city had a structural budget deficit.

Faulconer asked Fletcher if voters can trust him after he changed positions about city employee pensions.

"Voters can trust (me), Kevin, and they know I'm always going to do what I believe is right for the city of San Diego,'' Fletcher said at the debate, which was hosted by 10News and KPBS and was held at San Diego State University.

Fletcher asked Faulconer whether the city should have spent more money in recent years on the SDPD, which is losing around eight officers a month to other law enforcement agencies.

"You know, Nathan, I'm not sure you understand what we were doing the last seven years at City Hall while you were up in Sacramento,'' Faulconer said.

The councilman said the City Council was dealing with San Diego's worst financial problems when the SDPD budget was slashed and that the city can now start investing revenue into the department.

Fletcher responded that the council's priorities were wrong at the time the police budget cuts were made.

Fletcher is running first in a 10News/U-T San Diego poll, with 32 percent. Faulconer was second, with 28 percent. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, was released on Sunday.

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez, who was third in the poll with 17 percent, asked Fletcher if he still admired former supporters Pete Wilson, the former San Diego mayor and California governor and senator; Mitt Romney, the ex-GOP presidential candidate and La Jolla resident; or Karl Rove, the Republican strategist.

See Behind The Scenes Photos Of The Event

Photo by Angela Carone

The debate was moderated by KPBS Evening Edition host Peggy Pico and 10News anchor Virginia Cha.

"You know, David, this is your typical partisan politics,'' Fletcher said. "I want to make a real clear statement that I'll take support from anyone out there. I'm not going to base it on what party you're in, I'm not going to base it on who you've supported in the past.''

He then listed several examples of Democratic office-holders who have endorsed him.

Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre asked Faulconer if the city still had a structural budget deficit. The councilman said yes and attributed to shortfall to poor decisions in the past on granting pension benefits that were too generous.

Aguirre, who has made the city's pension deficit the focus of his campaign, injected levity into the generally tame debate later on when he noted that he was the only candidate who has served in a citywide office and that it was while San Diego was mired in its fiscal woes.

"I united people like they had never been united before. Unfortunately, it was against me,'' said Aguirre, who drew laughter. Aguirre had 8 percent in the mayoral poll.

If no one wins more than 50 percent in the special election on November 19, a runoff between the top two vote-getters would be held early next year.

The eventual winner will finish the term of Bob Filner, who stepped down on Aug. 30 after less than nine months in office.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | October 14, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Great sounding debate on radio, can't wait to see it on TV; short and sweet.
All four of these guys are on point, articulate, and affable.

I have an idea:
Let's hire Mike Aguiree to be San Diego Mayor; he has the experience and knowledge, the passion and the ability. I trust his judgement and he is an outsider to the traditional system of legalize corruption.

Then we can hire David Alvarez to run all city development issues, because we know he will do what is right for the people in the neighborhoods.

We can hire Kevin Faulconer to deal with the homeless problem, since he has worked so hard on finding money for things, and he knows so much about the issue of homelessness.

Finally, we can Nathan Fletcher to be City Attorney, because he can get along with ANYBODY!

It's the Dream Team!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 14, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't know what debate philosopher listened to, but all I could think of throughout the entire thing is how much I wish Bob had a twin clone with everything cloned except the sexual addiction problem that we could elect.

None wooed me too much.

I still think Aguirre is the best choice, the biggest reformist and the least tied to special interests.

But, he is last in the polls so not sure how likely it is he would win.

My next choice would be Mr. Alvarez.

Fletcher is a cheerleader, he seems to say and do whatever is popular at the time. My instinct tells me he is our next mayor because he seems like the type of frat boy San Diego voters gravitate to. And I don'tean that in a good way.

With that said, is it came down to fletcher and faulconer, I will vote for fletcher.

Faulconer impressed me the least.

He was the only one who tried repeatedly to use the Filner scandal as a talking point for his own advantage throughout the debate.

Others for te most part tries to stay above the low-hanging fruit because they know any San Diegans actually agreed with Mayor Filner's policy stances, just not his treatment of females.

The new mayor needs these people, and faulconer's decision to run as the "anti-Filner candidate" will only end up hurting him.

Overall a pretty unpassionate display by all, and very disappointing I must say.

None seemed to have that passion and vision Filner had to really transform our city profoundly.

This isn't the big ideas crowd. It's not the bi national Olympics visionaries. It's not the put San Diego on the world map leaders.

It's more the fix some potholes and stay under the radar business as usual crowd.

**sigh** :-( :''-(

Bob, why did you have to ruin a good thing with the sexual harassment ??

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Avatar for user 'dalifig1'

dalifig1 | October 14, 2013 at 7:07 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago


My husband, Hud Collins, is running for Mayor of San Diego. He's in it to win it!

Hud is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, with 3 medals for valor; and an attorney-at-law. Hud has served his country honorably & is a true patriot!

For the past 8 1/2 years before the City Council, HUD COLLINS, has been a strong advocate for the San Diego Police Officers. Over the years, Hud has urged the city council to keep our officers safe by providing SDPD with modern equipment and better training; and, advocated for better pay, more police officers (currently down 200 officers; from the year 2001); and incentives for recruitment & retention.

Hud has a DETAILED plan to fix this city's unfunded pension liability crisis.

Please understand where we've been & where we're going:

In June 2006, when Mr. Kevin Faulconer took office, the pension liability was at $1 billion, and was 79.9% funded. TODAY, the liability is at $2.3 billion and 68% funded.

On 9/8/13, Mr. Faulconer told the UT "his experience helping turn around city finances over the past decade makes him the best candidate to move the city beyond its latest scandal." CLEARLY, Mr. Faulconer's statement is FALSE! He has done NOTHING to help our city finances! We're in a bigger financial hole, because of his inaction.

Mr. David Alvarez, is young and inexperienced and has not proposed a plan to get this city out of its financial crisis. Where is your plan to fix financial crisis, Mr. Alvarez? WHICH neighborhoods will you improve & HOW will you pay for it?

Mr. Nathan Fletcher is a party flip-flopper (1st Republican; then Independent & now Democrat all w/in last 15 months!) Mr. Fletcher HOW are you going to PAY for hiring more police & firemen & fixing infrastructure? And increasing CITY SERVICES? Please provide details.

In 2004, as city attorney, Mr. Mike Aguirre was very combative, disruptive and highly ineffective; and, was voted OUT OF OFFICE, after only 1 term. Good riddance!

THE NEXT MAYOR MUST ADDRESS OUR FINANCIAL CRISIS (unfunded pension liability), if not, we could easily go down the road as cities like Stockton, Vallejo, San Bernardino, Riverside, Harrisburg PA, Detroit MI & Jefferson County AL (bankrupt due to $3.4B sewer bonds) declaring bankruptcy!

I am at a loss as to why the SDPD did not invite mayoral candidate Hud Collins to its debate on Oct 8. Hud is a huge supporter of SDPD! Hud is the only candidate with a FULL plan on how to fix our city's financial crisis & improve city services.

HUD COLLINS is ready to DEBATE all mayoral candidates!!!

SAN DIEGO city residents deserve to hear from HUD & ALL the lesser known candidates who have ideas to move our city forward.

Hud was featured briefly on Channel 7 NBC news. Here’s the web link :

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