Democratic Mayoral Candidates To Face Off In Friday Forum
State Assemblyman Todd Gloria won another high-profile endorsement Thursday in his campaign for San Diego mayor — this one from Gov. Gavin Newsom — a day before he and two other Democrats will face off in a forum.
Gloria's nod from Newsom is in addition to backing from former Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and a number of local unions. Endorsements for City Councilwoman Barbara Bry, his main opponent, have come mainly from community activists.
But the two are much closer in fundraising. Gloria had raised $656,108 from more than 1,200 individual donors from January through June. Bry raised $521,197 from more than 950 donors during the same time period.
Gloria's campaign has stayed mostly positive, casting him as an experienced progressive with a personal background that reflects San Diego's diversity. Bry has emphasized her business acumen, and her campaign has seized on tensions in the city over issues such as dockless scooters and housing development.
Social justice activist Tasha Williamson, who had raised $675 by the end of June, will join Gloria and Bry in the forum hosted by the San Diego County Democratic Party. Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy said the party would consider whom to endorse in the race later this month.
"We have an infrastructure backlog, we have a homelessness crisis, we have a problem with ... the cost of rent," he said. "We need a bold leader to take on those issues."
The party's endorsement can add immense weight to a candidate's campaign, allowing the party to spend money on mailers promoting its preferred candidate to registered Democrats. This can free up the candidate's official campaign coffers to focus on other priorities.
There are still no major independents or Republicans in the mayor's race, though City Councilman Mark Kersey has long been rumored to be considering a run. Kersey left the Republican Party earlier this year and became an independent, citing the growing polarization of partisan politics.
Next year will be the first San Diego mayoral election in which the race cannot be decided in the primary, after voters approved a City Charter amendment in 2016. The top two finishers in the March 3 primary will run off in the November 3, 2020 general election.