SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Union-Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Assemblyman Todd Gloria for mayor Friday, citing his experience in city government and how his election would bridge a gulf between a diverse city and a history of white mayors.
Gloria would be the city’s first Filipino and openly gay mayor.
Both Gloria and his opponent in the Nov. 3 election, San Diego City Council President pro Tempore Barbara Bry, are Democrats who share many of the same big-picture views.
“Neither support defunding the police,” the U-T wrote.
“Both see a need to rely more on mental health professionals than law enforcement in dealing with the homeless and want to fine-tune pandemic safety rules to spur the local economy. Both are determined to address the city’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Ultimately, it was Gloria’s experience on the council — which he was first elected to in 2008 — and as interim mayor in 2013 after Bob Filner resigned amid multiple sexual harassment allegations, which prompted the endorsement from the editorial board.
The U-T gave credit to Bry as being a “tougher manager” and for raising some of the first questions about the city’s 20-year, $127 million lease-to-own acquisition of Sempra Energy’s former headquarters, a 19-floor office tower at 101 Ash Street.
That deal — the building was found after purchase to be riddled with issues which made it unsafe for use, including asbestos — has been one of Bry’s major talking points in the campaign.
Gloria was the councilman who made the motion to purchase the building in 2016 after Mayor Kevin Faulconer said it would save the city $44 million in rent over 20 years.
“Yes, of course, Faulconer and his aides deserve the bulk of the blame for what is the city’s worst real estate deal ever,” the U-T wrote.
“But Bry, who was among the first to question the deal at City Hall, has a point when she says taxpayers should be `furious’ that Gloria didn’t do more to ascertain whether Faulconer’s assertions about the deal were accurate and independently vetted.”