Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer Discusses What's Next For San Diego
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Our top story on Midday Edition, the race is finished, and the win was more decisive than expected. San Diego City Council member Kevin Faulconer will take the oath of office as San Diego's numeric early next month. The campaigning was hectic in the short special election race. Your attention and the money flowed in for both candidates. Now the work of governing begins and is my pleasure to welcome Kevin Faulconer. Congratulations. The most recent polls told us that this would be a close election, but you single-handedly won most of the vote, did you expect it? KEVIN FAULCONER: Did you know I did not expect it to know that polls go up and down, we're working really hard and we had a very defined plan to and spent a lot of time on it after the campaign but I appreciate that effort into good but the issues I talked about this And One of conclusion and continued reforms at City Hall, investing those dollars bike tour neighborhoods, and it was not about partisanship but leadership. We did so well with Republicans, Democrats, and independence. That is the type of leadership the city needs. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Some of the sparring was pretty bad at times, how will you be working together on the city council? KEVIN FAULCONER: We did you do work together well and just like we have to continue to work together and David and I talked last night and what it comes down to I think, goals for the city are very similar, we have different approaches on how we get there. but I have been on the Council now for eight years and having to know somebody who reaches across the aisle to do good work, and that maybe I will be meeting with the Gloria today and we do great stuff together, and I'm really optimistic about working well with my colleagues on the Council, but also all San Diegans envisioning getting the city they should get. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Another campaign is a over but is there anything that happened this campaign that you would like to take back? KEVIN FAULCONER: It's a lot of things, it's an effort. I was very pleased with the effort and the energy and I said it last night. The outpouring of support that I got from San Diegan secured about coming out in helping get the city back on track I am very gratified and honored. And humbled and I cannot wait to jump in with both feet. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What do you have to say to the feeling of political respondents contained there saying that it will be back to business as usual as with Jerry Sanders. KEVIN FAULCONER: At Jerry Sanders did a great job and we've worked together on a lot of efforts, such as pension refer format competition for city services and we were in there fighting in the trenches for another number of years when the city was in the verge of bankruptcy and my message as Mayor is I will never allow the city to go back to those days because the trouble and San Diegans saw the result of that edge states were not getting paid in libraries and recreation centers not getting opened, continuing the changes in City Hall is a very important for the health of the city can't and I have the ability to bring the city back together. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Without doubt looking for return for the Sanders administration but to a more diverse and different approach at City Hall, what you have to say to them about your upcoming administration? KEVIN FAULCONER: I think what of the reasons that we did so well last night is because of the exclusive campaign that inclusive campaign that we've been looking at our leaders with the African-American and Latino community and the LGBT committee and the Asian American story that is part of my message to provide economic opportunity for families, was not about the weather does Republican or Democrat by one of the common sense things to move the city for it and I think the San Diegans got it and understand it now that that is the type of leadership will bring to the city and we will focus on what unites us rather than division. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Question about the nuts and bolts of what you will face as mayor, Todd Gloria as mentioned that a Democrat made the appointed to fill the seat that you hold to create a veto majority. How do you plan to deal with that? KEVIN FAULCONER: The same way as I have on the Council not worrying about partisan affiliation but having someone in the seat to lead. And hopefully the one to fill the seat is concerned about San Diego and less concerned about Republican or Democrat, but whether they care about moving the city for the and we will have an opportunity to make a difference and I am confident will work together to find someone who makes those objectives. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Specifically you oppose the push for the hike in the minimum wage. The majority of the city Council apparently support that push for a hike in the city's minimum wage If you don't have the votes what are you going to do to try to stop that? KEVIN FAULCONER: It's not a matter of trying to stop it, is how we work together, for example I've talked about the proposal on the federal level to raise the federal women wage makes sense to have everybody on the same playing field and tying it to future growth that is a way to do it. Having something is just different from San Diego today neighboring cities for the status at a disadvantage but also goes against what we're trying to help With putting people back to work in providing a good quality opportunities. There's more than one way to get at this and I look forward to working with Mike colleagues of the Council moving forward We will create a lot of things and they're all some things that we will not agree on. That is part of the business. I am focused on working together as best we can. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: During the campaign he talked about how much David Alvarez would owe the labor unions for funding so much of his campaign. Some people want to know what you might owe of the chamber of commerce or the Lincoln club? KEVIN FAULCONER: The difference in the races in my campaign is primary supported by San Diegans, and I think that showed, and as you mentioned independent groups for Mister Alvarez's spending extraordinary amount of money over $4 billion from national public employee groups, Washington DC and San Diego and the question is, why were the spending so much money on a local mail local mayors race? We were focused for the very beginning on support from local San Diegans and I to get the end of the day, I am less concerned and in fact we can put that all that passed us and it is not about the rhetoric of the campaign is how we work together with our labor groups and work together with small businesses to provide good opportunities for San Diegans that we will focus on. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm out of time but what we would like to do is invite you to join us to talk to us once a month and take calls from San Diegans, can we count on you for that? KEVIN FAULCONER: You bet I will be there for that. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you. Now I would like to welcome Carl Luna. You remember when two or three candidates were against one Republican for mayor had you predicted that the Democrats would lose but it did seem like David Alvarez would have a chance. CARL LUNA: If you have everything lined up in the stars, it was both be a strong showing with the mail-in ballot ballots get two thirds of the vote turnouts on the election date that did not happen, Fletcher and Alvarez started out good but missed and for Mister Faulconer having built opposition can always positioned himself to Republican new and improved. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We did talk to the registrar of voters early in the week he was saying that he is expecting about 40 to 45% turnout and it does not look like that's what we got caught the numbers are now about 37 to 38% turnout, and you feel that that hurt David Alvarez. CARL LUNA: More Democrats than Republicans in San Diego and statistics show if you reduce the vote you will read these more Democrats than Republicans and if you look at the registrar of voters that we have we always try to be optimistic but at least we weren't at least 20% turnout. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Another question that a lot of people have on their minds is what the factor of Helena Gonz·lez in this race, she really came out in support of Nathan Fletcher commented that have been impact on the race? CARL LUNA: I think the Democrats paid the price for that, you had support for David Alvarez which translated to people trying up not showing up to vote, and that is the thing that the Democratic party has to do is get the coalition back in order. And I just documentation from a leader saying that the lease we stood on the Bulls got but does I buy you much at Starbucks when you're unemployed. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What you think about the recent polls that indicated that the race was close? CARL LUNA: We are in a statistic environment where there's a lot of flexibility and have a lot more difficult than and independence but not sure how to model their turnout, this is a pose of likely voters and I think what happened was the expectation with David Alvarez have a much higher Latina Hispanic American and Democratic turnout, and so the models got goosed and it did not work out, the goose got cooked and meanwhile back in January 1 poll outcome it pretty much called it had Mister Faulconer of about thirteen points. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You've heard me ask Kevin Faulconer this question that the result of this election means that San Diego has returned to business as usual with a moderate Republican at the end of the city at the head of the city had you read it this way? CARL LUNA: San Diego used to be right of center, and with Jerry Sanders it became serious center, we really center might moving toward center left. More like moving to a 6-3 Council majority through the Democrats and that authority to maintain itself one way or another in the next election cycle, the current Mayor Mister Faulconer is going to have a higher deal with the time dealing with the Council because the veto will be there Don't think will be this is exactly as usual it will be a little bit different with the Barrio Logan plan is going to be defended and wage is going to be addressed. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Todd Gloria last night and in David Alvarez's campaign said that his candidacy is to change things for the city, is that just rhetoric at the end of a political campaign or is that really some substance to that? CARL LUNA: Data has shown San Diego races being predominantly older white guys and Republicans and maybe Democrats. At least Mister Alvarez has showed that you can win the primaries as a Hispanic American Democrat, although it wasn't a great performance, next time to the pipe it will be a little bit easier to run Todd Gloria has a good chance to win it in 2016 if he chooses, so that was important but it would've been more important had he won. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Looking down the pike as you say, if a Democrat appointed to fill the seat of Kevin Faulconer we have a sixth read the crowd majority on the city Council called you think the majority will how'd hold up after the elections in November? CARL LUNA: Mister falconer was to doubt of his own district in point Loma and that has a competitive race now, you have done a Faisal district come counsel is moving on to district to take falconer seat so that the competitive and you can simply get a seven to Democratic majority, but I think 6 to 3 is more likely. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Do you think that will hold? CARL LUNA: I think they're better odds of holding, the midterm election will have a lower Democratic turnout and that made work against the Democrats in the current primary season in the special election. But at some point the Council is heading in that direction play sixteen and 2020, San Diego is becoming a more progressive talent, and Mister falconer's trying to offered alternative to that and accommodate it. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Speaking of the upcoming midterm election, as the selection or San Diego city human or they are election have anything to say about how that may go for Democrats? CARL LUNA: We're over Republicans everyone wants I to spin it to their own advantage but the city the politics is not as save those of goes the nation, what you sow was more of an outlier for San Diego versus the state with Republican winning. A very moderate position, I think what San Diego is a little bit in the candid about it's all local try to become what we will be in the future. A coat and some people say this is a one-shot on that paper Scott Peters who is saying that the dispute about well for his reelection campaign. CARL LUNA: For the downside of Kevin Faulconer one but he may have lost the race for mayor running as a moderate Democrat and be a call to me as a moderate conservative Republican and we may have some impact but I don't to go be a defining feature feature of the race. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: My last question to you with this election, is the Filner issue now behind us? [ [ CHECK AUDIO ] ] CARL LUNA: We all hope. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you so much.
San Diego's race for mayor is finished and the win was more decisive than expected. City Councilman Kevin Faulconer will take the oath of office as San Diego's new mayor early next month.
The campaigning was hectic in the short special election season; the race got national attention and the money flowed in for both candidates. But now the real work of governing begins.
You won handily with 54 percent of the vote. Did you expect such a decisive win?
"I think the fact we did so well, means that we did well with Republicans, Democrats, independents, and that’s the type of mayor I want to be and the type of leadership the city needs right now."
Toward the end of the campaign, the mailers and the verbal sparring between you and David Alvarez got pretty nasty. How will you two work together on the City Coucil?
"I think we are going to work together really well. David and I talked last night and when it comes down to it, our goals for this great city are very similar. We may have had different approaches on how we get there, but having been on Council for eight years, I am known as someone who reaches across the aisle to do good work."
Is there anything that happened in this campaign that you'd like to take back?
"I’m sure there are all kinds of things in the midst of an effort, but overall I was very pleased with the effort and the energy. I said it last night, the outpouring of support that I had from San Diegans who cared about coming out and helping getting the city back on track. I am very gratified, humbled and honored. And I can’t wait to jump in with both feet."
The feeling among political pundits is that with your win, San Diego is back to business as usual, meaning the type of administration run by former Mayor Jerry Sanders. How do you react to that assumption?
"I think Jerry Sanders did a remarkable job when he was mayor. He and I worked very strongly on a lot of the reform efforts. We talk bout things like pension reform, which I co-authored, we talk about issues like competition for city services. We were in there fighting in the trenches for a number of years when the city was on the verge of bankruptcy. In my message in running for mayor was, I will never allow the city to go back to the days of the past that got us into troubles. San Diegans saw the results of that: streets that weren’t getting paved, libraries and rec centers that weren’t being opened. Continuing those changes at City Hall, continuing those financial reforms is very important for the health of this city."
Many people who supported your opponent David Alvarez were looking for a more diverse and community-driven approach at City Hall. What do you have to say to them about your upcoming administration?
"I think one of the reasons we did so well last night is because of the inclusive campaign we ran. A you looked out; we had leaders of our African American community standing with me, our Latino community, our LGBT community, our Asian American community. That was my message from the very beginning about being a mayor for all of San Diego, providing economic opportunity for our families. It wasn’t about, as I said, being a Republican or a Democrat; it’s about what are the common sense type of things that are going to bring the city forward."
Interim Mayor Todd Gloria has hinted that a Democrat may be appointed to fill your City Council seat, which creates a veto-proof majority until at least November. How do you intend to deal with that?
"I’ll deal with that as I have on the council. Once again, not try to worry bout partisan affiliation, but we want to have somebody in the seat, temporarily, until the election happens. Whoever the man or woman is that fills that seat, who believes in San Diego — I’m less concerned as I said about a Republican or Democrat, as whether they care about moving the city forward and are going to jump in with both feet."
Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer will join KPBS Midday Edition once a month for an update from City Hall.