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Kelvin Barrios Ending Campaign For District 9 Seat

 September 29, 2020 at 10:15 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 I shake up today in the race for San Diego city council district nine, Kelvin Barrio is a former city council aide and current labor union staffer who drawn widespread support, suspended his campaign on Monday, joining me to discuss why and what it means is KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler, max, welcome back to the program. Hi, well, this is a dramatic turn of events. Start with why Kelvin Barrios has dropped out of this race. So Speaker 2: 00:24 Steady drip of, of investigations into Barrio says campaign by the media. This all started with the revelations that he had misspent money that he had access to while acting as a volunteer for the San Diego County young Democrats. Um, he had kind of addressed this earlier in the campaign. Um, but then once it got brought back up, he claimed that he was no longer under criminal investigation. Something that the district attorney's office went out of its way to make clear. Wasn't the case. Uh, on top of that further reporting again, mostly by the San Diego union Tribune and voice of San Diego looked into his own campaign filings, which turned out to be a little bit sloppy, including the failure to report $86,000 in income from last year that he had received from his labor union on required forms. So clearly there were some discrepancies, he's a young guy. Um, he started very tough forms to get, right. But, uh, these raised questions about exactly how he would, uh, operate when he won the race. And if you ran wonderful Speaker 1: 01:27 And give us a thumbnail sketch of who Kelvin Barrios is, and where's the geographic area of district nine. So we had that in our mind. Speaker 2: 01:35 Yeah. So I'll start with where disc nine is. It's you've got a, if you think of it, North South that runs Kensington, Elsa Rito down through city Heights, all the neighborhoods that make up that, and then a little bit South from there. It right now it's being represented by city council, president Georgette Gomez, who Barrios was a staffer for up until, uh, over a year ago when he switched to working for, um, Luna local 89, the labor union. Uh, so he, he grew up in city Heights. He's been advocating for the community for years, um, and has been very close to the labor movement the entire time. Speaker 1: 02:11 And borrows had garnered a lot of endorsements, including from his former boss council, president Gomez. Many of these endorsements were withdrawn, putting more pressure on them to resign. Right? Right. So Speaker 2: 02:21 Not at first though. So ultimately Georgette Gomez announced that she would be pausing her endorsement, but that endorsement was not taken off of Barrio says website that was back in August. Other groups like the San Diego league of women voters, uh, were putting pressure on Barrios to continue to either actively campaign cause he was skipping community forums or to address the allegations and the findings about his campaign over the weekend though, basically the snowballs, uh, the, the mayor of national city Alejandra. So tell us, so Lisa withdrew, her support, the mayor of Tula Vista, um, Mary solace withdrew her support and that culminated on Monday morning with his own labor union, his own employer, local 89, announcing that they were withdrawing support. Of course they kind of place the blame on the media itself saying it was, uh, basically the, the partisan efforts by the media that had driven Barrios out of the race. Speaker 1: 03:11 Yeah. Politically untenable. It would seem based on what you're describing and, and tell us about borrow his opponent, who now appears to be the next council member. Right? Speaker 2: 03:20 Right. So, uh, Sean Isla Rivera, he is a member of the San Diego community college board. He ran and won two years ago for that seat against David Alverez and, and a bit of an upset. He is also a local community organizer right now. He's the executive director of youth will, which works with young people in San Diego, um, specifically the areas around city Heights. And he, you know, what would be the person who appears to be in the driver's seat for this race? Speaker 1: 03:48 And he's also a Democrat we should know here. It's a very, uh, progressive, uh, district, two Democrats were running there. Right. Speaker 2: 03:54 Right. And, and to be honest, if you look at the candidates, there was very little daylight between them on the positions. And maybe it's something that would have been sussed out in the community forums. As we got closer to the actual time when ballots would be mailed out. But because Barrios had kind of been avoiding those situations, there hasn't been a much daylight between them. That being said, Barrios could still win because he will still show up on the mailers. Uh, it's still show up on the ballots. So [inaudible] Rivera, can't relax. He's going to have to actually still campaign. Speaker 1: 04:24 Well, that'd be interesting if it happens. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter, max Ribble and net, or thanks max. Thanks.

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Former aide to City Council President Georgette Gómez is ending his campaign for her seat.
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