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Bry Concedes San Diego Mayor's Race To Gloria

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Assemblymember Todd Gloria's commanding lead in the mayor's race has grown in recent days, leading his opponent, City Councilmember Barbara Bry, to acknowledge her loss.

Speaker 1: 00:00 This morning, Barbara Bree conceded to Todd Gloria in the San Diego mayor's race. The race had been predicted as a close call, but in the end, Gloria won with 56% of the vote here to fill us in is KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen, Andrew. Welcome. Hi, Alison. Thanks. So now Barbara re did wait several days to concede, but here's what she said today.

Speaker 2: 00:21 I offered him my congratulations yesterday and I've acknowledged that he's going to have some difficult choices ahead and that the community needs to understand that and that the community needs to be at the table. Um, as these difficult decisions are made.

Speaker 1: 00:37 Andrew, what else did Brie say in her concession announcement?

Speaker 3: 00:40 Well, she said that, you know, looking back on the campaign, she was surprised and disappointed by some of the negative attacks against her. She mentioned, um, what she called special interests. You know, there was a super PAC funded by the San Diego regional chamber County, regional chamber of commerce, and also the, uh, a city employees union that basically, you know, suggested to Republicans that she was a progressive and the same group then suggested to Democrats and independence that she was, uh, the Republican choice for mayor. She felt that that was dishonest. She said that the media did not properly call it out as dishonest, but she said, you know, uh, Todd Gloria has, uh, a difficult road ahead of him and that she wishes him the best.

Speaker 1: 01:26 What do you see as the dynamic that led to her defeat and glorious victory?

Speaker 3: 01:30 Well, I think that it's certainly true that Bri had a disadvantage in terms of fundraising in terms of the endorsements from elected officials. I mean, Todd Gloria was in Sacramento in the state assembly and managed to get the endorsement of every democratic assembly member, a host of, uh, elected officials in state government, including governor Gavin Newsome, Senator Kamala Harris. So he certainly came into this with an advantage, but I think, you know, with the margin of victory that we're seeing with Todd Gloria, we can't just chalk this up to money. He clearly had a message that resonated with voters. I asked him, uh, last week when he was making some remarks and the race wasn't fully settled, but it was still pretty clear that he was going to win. Um, if he saw this as a mandate from the voters and he said he wanted to respect the vote counting process, of course, but he certainly hopes that it is that, uh, you know, this was a campaign where he went in talking about issues like homelessness, like affordable housing, like transportation and climate change. Bree was choosing to focus much more on issues like the city's one Oh one Ash street deal, this real estate transaction that has cost taxpayers a lot of money and has been pretty disastrous and other things. And I think he can come out of this race, really feeling like the issues that he, he wanted to focus on are the issues that the voters cared about will re in San Diego

Speaker 1: 03:00 City politics, you think,

Speaker 3: 03:01 Well, you know, she chose not to run for a second term on the city council. So her time in elected office will be over. She has said many times, uh, she doesn't plan on running for election again, although today she said, you know, never say never. Um, but it sounded like, uh, from her virtual press conference this morning that she does plan on staying engaged in city issues. She mentioned a couple of times she's got a, an extensive contact list and we see this often from candidates who lose elections, they keep that email a listserv and, and use it to sort of promote their own ideas, maybe advocate for things in city politics. So I think it's probably safe to say that, you know, we, we haven't heard the last from Barbara Bree. Uh, she, you know, certainly wants to continue pushing issues that she cares about like, um, accountability in city government. Um, she's always been very passionate about the issue of short-term vacation rentals, which the next mayor and next city council might be trying to tackle, uh, on their own. So, um, I expect that she won't be completely out of the picture.

Speaker 1: 04:10 Sure. So Gloria will have an eight to one democratic majority on the council. Um, that looks good for him, but just because there's such a strong democratic majority, does that mean they'll agree on policy?

Speaker 3: 04:21 Well, certainly not. I think there, we haven't seen the policy divisions yet among all of the, uh, people who will be coming into city council. Um, there's going to be a majority of brand new city council members, by the way, it's, uh, five, uh, newly elected council members. Uh, but I think that he is going to certainly have more options in terms of trying to put together a majority for, uh, th that would back his agenda. This has not been true for, um, any mayor in, in recent history really. Um, most of the mayors have had, uh, most of the Republican mayors have had a, uh, democratic majority on the city council. And, um, the only democratic mayor that we had in, in recent history or in, in the last 20 years, let's say, um, uh, Bob Filner was not exactly a guy who, um, who got along with everyone, even the Democrats. So there are a lot of things that I think he can accomplish. Uh, and he, you know, um, among the sort of things that are, that he has going for him are not just that eight one, uh, parent democratic majority on the city council, but also he knows the city bureaucracy, he was on the city council for eight years. He served six months as interim mayor has direct experience in this executive position. He was endorsed by the municipal employees association, which represents, uh, you know, a huge number of, uh, city employees.

Speaker 1: 05:49 Well, he has quite a bit to tackle, so probably a good thing. He has some allies on his side. We've been speaking with Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Andrew, thanks so much. Thank you. Alison mayor elect Todd. Gloria issued this statement this morning. He says, I want to thank council member Brie for her service to our city. And I wish her and her family well it's time to put the campaign behind us and come together as San Diego to resolve the many challenges we face. Gloria continues, voters have embraced my vision of creating a city that works for all of us. It's now time to turn that vision into reality. I am honored to be the next mayor,

Speaker 4: 06:29 Uh,

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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.