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County Democratic Party To Consider Endorsement In Mayoral Race

San Diego mayoral candidates Todd Gloria, Tasha Williamson and Barbara Bry ar...

Credit: Campaign photos

Above: San Diego mayoral candidates Todd Gloria, Tasha Williamson and Barbara Bry are pictured in this undated side-by-side photo.

The San Diego County Democratic Party will consider endorsing a candidate for mayor of San Diego Tuesday, potentially opening the door to funding help for one of the three Democrats in the race.

The party's Central Committee, made up of elected members from each of the county's Assembly districts and other local leaders and elected officials, will discuss a potential endorsement of Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry and community activist Tasha Williamson.

If the party endorses a candidate, it can fundraise and spend in support of that candidate in larger amounts than the city's current donation cap of $1,150 per election. The committee could also choose to forego an endorsement and let the three candidates hash it out before the March 3, 2020, primary.

Gloria has garnered the most buzz since the campaign began in January, earning endorsements from local, state and federal officials like Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Assembly's Democratic caucus, Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, among others.

Bry, meanwhile, has framed herself as a political outsider who is more connected to San Diego residents than politicians in Sacramento. She has leaned on her background as a technology entrepreneur to argue that she would be an effective ally of the city's thriving biotechnology industry as well as local business leaders.

Gloria and Bry have also raised the most money among the mayoral candidate pool. From Jan. 1 to July 31, Gloria raised $646,000 from more than 2,100 donors, while Bry raised $531,591 from about 1,200 donors. Williamson, the candidate with the third-most money raised, mustered less than $1,000.

Bry recently drew the ire of local Democratic activists after taking a thinly veiled dig at Gloria in June for voting in favor of state legislation that would force cities to hasten housing development.

A fundraising email from Bry's campaign alleged that Sacramento politicians like Gloria are "coming for our homes." Although the email did not mention Gloria by name, it referred to him as "my opponent" and included a screenshot of the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego endorsing him via Twitter.

Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy called the slight "out of bounds" and "not a good look for any candidate, especially a wealthy one" in a pair of Twitter posts.

The party is scheduled to vote on a potential endorsement at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569, located at 4545 Viewridge Ave., Suite 100.

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