San Diego Councilman Carl DiMaio, a conservative Republican, arrived… (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles…)
SAN DIEGO — City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a conservative Republican, held a slim edge Tuesday over Rep. Bob Filner, a liberal Democrat, in early vote totals in the race to succeed termed-out Mayor Jerry Sanders, a moderate Republican.
The race was expensive and bitter, with the two candidates holding strongly opposing views on key issues, including the outsourcing of city jobs and the upcoming contract negotiations with city workers over salaries and pensions.
The two emerged as the top vote-getters in the June primary by edging out San Diego County Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (I-San Diego).
In the final days of the race, Filner accused DeMaio of being in the pocket of developer Douglas Manchester, who also owns the San Diego Union-Tribune. DeMaio blasted Filner as too volatile and temperamental. Each labeled the other an extremist.
DeMaio, 38, is a relative newcomer to San Diego politics. After arriving a decade ago, he pushed his way into prominence as a gadfly, demanding that the City Council reduce labor costs and outsource jobs; four years ago he was elected to the council from a suburban district.
Filner, 70, a former college professor, spent 10 terms in Congress, after serving on the council and San Diego school board. His political base has been labor unions, ethnic minority groups and blue-collar neighborhoods south of Interstate 8.
DeMaio's campaign outspent Filner's, with a barrage of negative TV advertising. But Filner enjoyed an edge in the city's voter registration: 40% Democrats, 27% Republicans and 28% independents.