Hickey, Elliott race for City Attorney - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Hickey, Elliott race for City Attorney

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Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey and Deputy City Attorney Mara Elliott Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey and Deputy City Attorney Mara Elliott

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Tonight, a look at the city attorney's race between Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey and Deputy City Attorney Mara Elliott, to succeed Jan Goldsmith, who has termed out of office.

In recent years, the office had become somewhat political, some would say dysfunctional. The challenge for Goldsmith when he came to office eight years ago was to change the culture to become more professional.

"The next city attorneys challenge would to be to improve on that, but keep that culture in place, don't become political, don't ever, ever let the office become a political activism," he said. "Once you stray from that the office then becomes less helpful to the city and becomes part of the problem."

Robert Hickey has been running as the law and order candidate.

"Half the lawyers in that office work on criminal matters, 30 thousand criminal cases a year, I'm the only candidate whose prosecuted criminal cases at all, in this race," Hickey said.

But the other half of the 155 lawyers in the city attorney's office handle municipal law cases. Mara Elliott said that's her experience.

"I'm running against a person who has no municipal law experience at all so he has tried to distinguish himself on the criminal front: 925 as opposed to someone whose got a wide range of experience which I think the city attorney needs," Elliott said.

Experience aside, Hickey would like the office to be user friendly and service oriented toward business. His other major issue is homelessness. 

"It's becoming a complete embarrassment to our city its just an unhealthy environment for these folks, its not good for anyone, its costing us tourists, we really have to address it," he said.

Elliott said she has a proven record of protecting taxpayer money.

"Whether it's cleaning up the bay at no cost to taxpayers, holding contractors accountable when they steal from the city or don't pay their employees correctly, changing the laws so that we have every tool available to us so we can bring as much money into city coffers," she said.

As of October 22, the last filing period the Elliott campaign has collected $327,000.

The Hickey campaign had collected $620,000. 

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