San Diego County Democrats Endorse Gloria In Mayor's Race
Assemblyman Todd Gloria secured a major boost in his campaign for San Diego mayor Tuesday evening after the San Diego County Democratic Party voted to endorse him.
Gloria won 71% of the votes cast by the party's central committee members. City Councilwoman Barbara Bry, his main rival in the race, won 14% of the votes, while 12% of members voted to make no endorsement in the race. Social justice activist Tasha Williamson garnered 3% of the votes.
"This all-important endorsement means the absolute world to me, and it signals that our party believes in our campaign's message of fighting for working people and truly building a city that works for all of us," Gloria said in a statement Wednesday.
Though a final verdict by city voters in the mayoral election is still more than a year away, Gloria has built a commanding lead over Bry in terms of high-profile endorsements. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a host of state lawmakers and several influential labor unions have gotten behind him.
But the central committee endorsement is particularly important because it means the party can spend money on Gloria's behalf through direct mail campaigns and other communications with the city's registered Democrats. Gloria already leads in campaign contributions, raising $656,108 in the first six months of this year. Bry raised $521,197 in the same time period.
Party chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy said Gloria has worked for years to build support and good will among Democratic activists and elected officials, adding that that the assemblyman's personal background is a reflection of San Diego's diversity. Gloria is of Native Alaskan, Filipino, Puerto Rican and Dutch descent, and is openly gay.
"Todd Gloria represents a very unique and diverse background, and for young people of color who also happen to be LGBT, he is a role model," Rodriguez-Kennedy said.
Rodriguez-Kennedy said party leaders have not yet decided how much they will spend on Gloria's behalf, or what they will spend on, but he said electing a Democratic mayor was one of their top priorities.
No major Republican or independent candidate has entered the mayor's race. The top two winners in the March 3 primary will compete in a runoff on November 3, 2020.
Gloria served on the San Diego City Council from 2008 to 2016, representing District 3, which includes downtown, Hillcrest and North Park. He also served as City Council president, and for about six months took on mayoral duties following the resignation of Bob Filner in 2013.
Gloria currently represents the 78th Assembly District, which includes much of the city of San Diego as well as Imperial Beach, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach.
Bry represents City Council District 1, which includes La Jolla, Torrey Pines, University City and Carmel Valley. She has attacked Gloria over his support for more modest regulations of dockless scooters and his vote for a bill in the state legislature that would put some limits on local governments' ability to block new housing construction.