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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Discusses His Re-Election Bid

Photo caption:

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announces the members of his Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group in downtown San Diego, Jan. 30, 2015.

For a while, it seemed like San Diego's Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, would run relatively unopposed for re-election in June.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Discusses His Re-Election Bid


Kevin Faulconer, San Diego mayor


But when former San Diego Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and lifeguard union leader Ed Harris decided to run for mayor, a race was on. Saldaña is an independent who ran as a Democrat when she was in the Legislature. Harris is a Democrat.

What is the mayor's agenda for San Diego if he's re-elected? Faulconer discussed his candidacy Monday on KPBS Midday Edition.

Faulconer was asked about his support for Proposition H, a ballot measure that aims to address a $1.4 billion infrastructure funding gap over the next five years. Projections show the measure, if passed, could secure only about $200 million over the next five years without creating new taxes.

“We’re facing it head-on,” Faulconer said of the city’s infrastructure needs. "It’s not about sending more money to City Hall. It’s about City Hall doing a better job with the money we have.”

On the topic of 911 call wait times — which on average are longer in San Diego than the national standard — Faulconer blamed the city’s pension crisis for police dispatcher understaffing due to budget shortfalls.

“This is an issue the city got itself into a lot of trouble with over the last several years," he said. "We’re solving it. We’re tackling it head-on.”

Faulconer struck a cautious tone when discussing proposals for building a new Chargers stadium downtown.

“If you look back at some of the deals that have been made in this city, particularly on sports issues that were not thoroughly scrubbed and vetted, that’s where the city has made some mistakes,” the mayor said.

Faulconer did not take a position on plans for a downtown stadium, saying, “We have to make sure that we get all the information. … We have to do our homework, and we have to make sure we know what all of the costs are.”

The mayor was also asked where funds for the city’s Climate Action Plan will come from. He said he’ll begin to discuss funding sources in the near future.

“It’s not enough to have a plan. We have to implement it,” he said.

Finally, when asked if he would support Donald Trump if he became the Republican presidential nominee, Faulconer said, “I don’t believe Donald Trump is going to be our nominee. I’m strongly supporting (Ohio) Gov. John Kasich.”

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