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Bry Leading Gloria In San Diego Mayoral Campaign Fundraising

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City Councilmember Barbara Bry significantly outraised Assemblyman Todd Gloria in the latest reporting period, but Gloria still had more money in the bank as of June 30.

Speaker 1: 00:00 He's been the front runner all along endorsed by the San Diego union Tribune. He served in the job for a time and appear to be cruising to victory. She is the political fighter who came from behind to eke out a primary victory and now has doubled up her opponent in the latest fundraising. Tally Todd, Gloria and Barbara Bree are staging remote campaigns to become San Diego mayor in these strange times. And joining me to examine the race in these dog days of August is KPBS Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen. Hi Andrew. Hi Mark. Thank you. Well, let's start with that headline on fundraising, Barbara Bree and her supporters are claiming a momentum shift with the report that she more than doubled Todd glorious hall from mid February to the end of June. But those numbers are maybe a bit misleading, right?

Speaker 2: 00:44 Well, if you're talking about whether she doubled Todd Gloria's fundraising, uh, that is slightly misleading, um, because that would include breeze own contribution of $150,000 in either loans or, uh, donations to her own campaign. So, um, her dollar figure, uh, just over 681,000 is more than twice. Gloria's a dollar figure of, uh, just over 289,000. Um, it's a little less than twice if you subtract her own contributions, but ultimately what these numbers mean is that, uh, Bree is continuing to get support from her base of supporters and she will have the resources that she needs to actually, uh, do this campaign. The, the thing to remember about fundraising is it doesn't necessarily indicate how much support someone has in a community. It just means, you know, how much money they will have to spend on getting their message out on TV ads and mailers and things like that. And in that regard, uh, you know, this is going to be a pretty, um, competitive race. We should also note that Gloria does have more cash on hand as of the closure of this financial reporting period, which is the end of June.

Speaker 1: 01:56 And so we have two Democrats squaring off here, but Bree made it into the general election with a remarkable comeback. After it looked like Republican Scott Sherman or a colleague on city council had won following that March 3rd primary. How did she overtake Sherman two weeks later?

Speaker 2: 02:10 Yeah, it was just those daily counts that we were monitoring on the registrar of voters website as they updated each figure every day. Um, a lot of the late arriving votes were what trended toward Brie and pushed her into that second place spot after Scott Sherman, um, or ahead of Scott Sherman rather. Um, she said, I talked to her on election night and she said, you know, this is what she was kind of expecting that, um, Democrats and independence, uh, were likely waiting to mail their ballots until the last minute, because if you recall at the time, um, we didn't know who was going to be the presidential, uh, democratic nominee. And so a lot was changing there and it made, it would make sense that a lot of people might've been kind of waiting to see who would drop out at the last minute and then mailing their votes, uh, you know, closer to election day, ultimately she about 1200 more votes than Sherman. So it was definitely very close,

Speaker 1: 03:02 Very close. We'll still Todd Gloria was the clear vote winner. Do we have any reliable polling now in the mayor's race?

Speaker 2: 03:09 I'm only aware of two polls that have been released publicly since the primary. One of them came from the Lincoln club, a conservative political group, and it showed debris and Gloria pretty much neck and neck, the Lincoln club typically endorses Republicans, and they haven't endorsed anyone in the mayor's race officially. But if you read between the lines and a lot of the questions of this poll, and they released quite a bit of information about what they asked voters, um, if you also read the press release where, uh, you know, when they announced the results, it's pretty easy to kind of interpret that they may not have endorsed Bria outright, but, uh, she does appear to be their preferred candidate. Um, so, you know, reading those results, showing them neck and neck, you might, um, you might, you know, assume that, or take those results with a grain of salt and assume that the Lincoln club might have, um, tried to craft their questions to make Bree a little bit stronger.

Speaker 2: 04:00 Gloria released his own poll, also showing him, uh, leading Brie by 15 percentage points. He got 41% and she got 26% in this poll that was commissioned by his own campaign. That, of course also you have to take with a grain of salt. Um, he didn't release the questions in that poll. It was just a summary of the breakdown of, of who supported him versus who supported her. Um, you know, he mentioned that Bri leads among Trump supporters, uh, which are a minority in the city of San Diego. Um, but you know, maybe he's trying to kind of craft this narrative of, of tying her to Trump. So all of these polls that we have, you know, I haven't seen any from a news organization or a more neutral party. So, um, you know, the best poll we have to go after is, is the March 3rd primary, and Gloria definitely beat Bree, pretty handily there.

Speaker 1: 04:48 And both Gloria and Brie are Democrats, even though the office is technically nonpartisan, any major specific issues where they disagree.

Speaker 2: 04:56 You know, it's interesting, COVID-19 has completely appended the campaign up to up ended the issues that the candidates are talking about, but the points where they diverge are pretty much the same. Um, I would say housing is, is a major point of contention between the two of them. Gloria really embraces the yes in my backyard or UMB movement to build more homes, to pass policies that make building more homes, a lot easier. Um, Bri walks a very fine line in this space. She never outright opposes new housing or, you know, is, is very, um, qualified whenever she talks about opposition to housing and she points to votes where she's actually supported new housing on the city council, but at the same time, she also embraces the skepticism of growth and has voted against, uh, some policies that would have made growth, uh, you know, easier and faster in San Diego. Um, she, she often pivots to the issue of short term rentals that sort of long standing issue in San Diego that we haven't been able to figure out. Um, she said repeatedly that she would enforce the, what she believes and city attorney believes is a ban existing ban on short term rentals, things like Airbnb, um, Gloria supports regulating them and licensing them. Um, so that's another issue where they disagree

Speaker 1: 06:08 And who knows what the future will be regarding that and several other issues. And that's one of the things I wanted to wrap with here are the challenges facing San Diego's next mayor, several seem obvious starting with the pandemic slamming the economy and the city's budget, which by law has to be balanced each year, right?

Speaker 2: 06:25 Yes. And balancing the budget will be very hard for the next mayor, particularly because I think it's a, you know, what we're hearing from economists is that it'll likely be a couple of years before we can get our, um, tourism and hospitality industry back up to where it was pre pandemic, um, which is a, you know, a big economic driver driver in San Diego. Uh, the next mayor will have some reserves to draw funds from, uh, in this city. Um, Faulkner mayor Faulkner, left them mostly on touched in this current fiscal year. Um, but there are also structural problems that the city has had for many years and will continue to have into the future, even without the pandemic things like the infrastructure deficit, things like homelessness, uh, the lack of funding for affordable housing. So all of those things are going to be, uh, a big challenge for the next mayor, regardless of who it is.

Speaker 1: 07:14 Yes. Well at, uh, lots of challenges going forward here, they'll all of them seeming to revolve around this pandemic. Unfortunately, I've been speaking with KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen. Thanks Andrew. Thank you, Mark.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.