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Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer Discusses What’s Next For San Diego

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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.

KPBS Midday Edition interviewed Faulconer about how he plans to move the city forward and how he plans to work with his opponent City Councilman David Alvarez and other Democrats on the Council.

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.

Special Feature 2014 San Diego Mayoral Runoff Election Results

On Feb. 11, 2014, San Diegans picked City Councilman Kevin Faulconer to fill the remainder of former Mayor Bob Filner's term. So, how did your precinct vote? Find out with this interactive map.

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