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San Diego paper endorses Councilman Carl DeMaio for mayor

May 6, 2012 | 10:42 am

San Diego mayoral race
The U-T San Diego — formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune — has endorsed City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a conservative Republican and the campaign's leading pension hawk and proponent for outsourcing city government jobs, for mayor in the June 5 ballot.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher apparently lost his chance for the newspaper’s endorsement after dropping the Republican party, registering as an independent and leading a “move to the middle” away from political extremes.

”We wanted to believe in him,” the newspaper said in an editorial Sunday. “But we cannot support a mayoral candidate for this office who is willing to court support from the very unions he would face across the negotiating table if elected.”

Last week, the Fletcher campaign took the unusual step of releasing a transcript and audiotape of the candidate’s interview with the newspaper’s editorial board.

During the interview, board members expressed concern that  Fletcher’s defection from the GOP could hurt “the three (Republican) City Council members and all the way to Mitt Romney” by suggesting there is something wrong with the Republican party.

“How can we get behind you given that we’ve got a lot of Republican backing and Republican tradition?” one board member said. “I think that puts us in a tough position.”

Sunday’s editorial said DeMaio is  “outspoken, determined, occasionally abrasive, (and) he has pushed our city and its politicians out of their comfort zones and toward a new era.”

Other mayoral candidates to succeed the termed-out Jerry Sanders are Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, and Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat. If no candidate gets more than 50%, the two top vote-getters go to a November runoff.


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Photo: San Diego mayoral candidates: (left to right), Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis, Councilman Carl DeMaio, Rep. Bob Filner, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times