SAN DIEGO — Chris Cate will be claiming an open seat on the San Diego City Council after defeating Carol Kim in Tuesday’s election.
Cate, a vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, thanked his supporters, fellow Filipinos and his fiancee at a reception at the US Grant Hotel Tuesday night.
“I will say we are here tonight because all of you, because the voters of District 6 believe that our plan to reform government, help create jobs and rebuild our neighborhoods are our top priorities,” Cate said. “From Day One of this campaign, I talked about using my experience to fully implement those voter-approved reforms and make sure those dollars get reinvested back into our neighborhoods.”
He will represent District 6, which covers Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa and part of Clairemont Mesa — neighborhoods with large Asian American populations.
The race was touted as one that will produce the panel’s first Asian American in half a century, though council President Todd Gloria is part Filipino.
Cate will provide Mayor Kevin Faulconer with an additional ally on the council and reduce the Democratic majority on the technically nonpartisan panel to 5-4 when he takes office on Dec. 10. A Kim victory would have maintained the Democrats’ 6-3 veto-proof majority.
In practice, the council members cooperate on the vast majority of issues. However, the majority flexed its muscle earlier this year by adopting an incremental increase in the minimum wage in San Diego and overriding a Faulconer veto. The ordinance was later suspended when opponents gathered enough petition signatures to force a public vote, which will likely take place in June 2016.
In an interview, Kim said she was vastly outspent in a “David versus Goliath scenario” but feels good about what she did.
“We designed and we executed a great campaign that was really about reaching out to the community, going door-to-door, talking to voters directly, face-to-face, collecting their stories, hearing their concerns, listening to them, and telling them what we were trying to accomplish,” said Kim, an education consultant.
The seat was held by Lorie Zapf. When the council districts were remapped a few years ago, her residence fell into District 2, forcing her to run for re-election there. She won handily in June, as did Councilwoman Myrtle Cole and Councilman David Alvarez.