The Mayor Candidates Debate
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — KUSI News and the Union Tribune hosted a debate Tuesday night for all three candidates running for San Diego mayor.
We were joined by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Former assembly woman Lori Saldana and Lifeguard Union President Ed Harris.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer has a popularity and job approval rating of 60 percent, so he had every expectation of being re-elected outright in the June primary, but that changed when Saldana and Harris joined the race.
The mayor will continue the theme that brought victory in a special election in March of 2014, "One San Diego," bringing everybody together.
"The city’s back on track we’re putting dollars back into infrastructure, doing more street paving that we ever have, expanding library and rec center hours, I’ve make a conscious focus that we’re going to get back in the services of neighborhoods, and I’m proud of it, its working and we’re doing it throughout the city," Mayor Faulconer said.
Lori Saldana, a former Democrat, is running as an independent, but her campaign is based on traditional Democrat themes: climate change, minimum wage and income inequality.
"San Diegans really want someone who can stand up and speak on their behalf and right now we have somebody who is helping the people who build the tallest hotels and pay the lowest wages," Saldana said.
Saldana supports the Citizen’s Plan for San Diego that would transform the Qualcomm Stadium site as an education center and public space. It also prevents using public dollars for a downtown stadium.
Politically, she said the mayor is looking toward Sacramento, with an eye to run for governor is mid-term.
"What he really promotes is big business, I call him the Dean Spanos of San Diego, he’s for bigger media markets and really what Kevin Faulconer wants to do is run for governor," Saldana said.
Ed Harris is supported by the Democratic party.
"The reason I’m running for mayor is our city’s broken, our nation has many issues but I believe you can fix your backyard," Harris said.
Harris also supports the Citizen’s Plan and income inequality. He accuses the mayor of not securing the necessary funding to implement the climate action plan. He said the mayor lacks leadership. He’s been kicking the can down the road on several major issues.
"As a former council member I believe politics starts at home we can fix our back yard, we can fix our infrastructure, we can fix our police department, we can fix our schools," Harris said.
Harris also said the city should enforce the existing city code to prohibit short term rentals in residential neighborhoods.
These candidates have little chance to be mayor, but they could force the mayor into a runoff in November.