Thursday, June 2, 2011

Democrats' Interest in S.D. Mayor's Race Shows the Future of a Changing City

From the SDCDP
MEDIA ADVISORY: Thursday, June 2, 2011

A year from the 2012 primary election, two major Democratic candidates have now taken steps toward running for mayor of San Diego, promising the most competitive race for the office in years.

State Senator Christine Kehoe this morning announced that she’s opening a committee to explore a mayoral campaign. Meanwhile, Congressman Bob Filner has made statements in recent months indicating that he plans to run. Both are due to make final decisions later this year.

“With the interest of two strong, experienced Democratic leaders in the mayoral race, San Diego is poised to have a Democrat on a general election ballot for the first time in 20 years,” said Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. “San Diego is already a very Democratic city, and 2012 will be our opportunity to show what that means for City Hall.”

Politically and demographically, the city has moved decisively into the “blue” column over the past decade. For example:

• Today there are almost 50% more Democrats than Republicans in the City of San Diego -- an advantage of more than 75,000 votes.
• Republicans are just 3% away from being outnumbered by independents in the city.
• In 2008, President Obama won the city with 62% of the vote to John McCain’s 35%.
• Census data this year showed that 55% of the city’s residents are non-white, with significant increases in the Latino and Asian / Pacific Islander populations.
Chair Durfee stated that given the new political reality in the city, Republicans will have no choice but to court Democratic votes –- particularly in a high-turnout presidential election year.

“We can all expect to see Republican candidates with staunch right-wing track records suddenly pivot and sell themselves as ‘moderate’ or even progressive,” he said. “On behalf of the Democratic Party, I look forward to making sure that the voters know the truth about who’s on the ballot in 2012.

“And I am very pleased that two real Democrats are emerging to give San Diegans a better choice in electing our next mayor.”

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