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Roberts, Davis Leading in San Diego Mayor's Race


SAN DIEGO — Early returns in the San Diego mayoral race showed that among 12 candidates to succeed Mayor Susan Golding, county Supervisor Ron Roberts and banker Peter Q. Davis appeared headed for a runoff.

Golding is blocked by the city charter from seeking a third term. Golding, a Republican, did not endorse any candidate, although she is expected to make an endorsement before the November general election.

Except for a last-minute attack ad by Councilwoman Barbara Warden, in which she branded Roberts "a career politician" and accused Davis of trying to buy the election, the primary was a low-key, civil affair.

The election had little of the intensity of the election in 1982 between populist Democrat Maureen O'Connor and Republican lawyer Roger Hedgecock or the 1992 election between Golding and slow-growth advocate Peter Navarro.

Davis spent more than $1.2 million of his own money on a five-month campaign of television advertising. Roberts, one of the city's most successful fund-raisers, spent about $700,000.

In the final weeks, Warden tried to catch the front-running Davis and Roberts by emphasizing her support for trigger locks on guns, for after-school recreation programs, and for using the city's share of the tobacco settlement money to hire more teachers.

Roberts responded with his own commercials about his unsuccessful fight to ban Saturday night specials and his endorsement by former U.S. Teacher of the Year Sandra McBrayer, a San Diego resident.

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