San Diego mayoral candidates square off in town hall debate

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SAN DIEGO — Three candidates leading the race to become San Diego’s next mayor squared off Thursday in a town hall debate in Little Italy.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria has secured institutional endorsements from city unions, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce firefighters and police officers. He says his No. 1 focus will be on solving the homelessness problem once and for all.

“We can join the ranks of other cities across the nation that have ended chronic homelessness. We just need the will to do it and I have the will,” Gloria said.

Democratic councilmember Barbara Bry says her lack of institutional endorsements proves she is not afraid to tangle with old city power brokers.

“One of my visions as mayor is to create a thriving employment and art center downtown, which will make this a community where more and more people want to live, work and play,” Bry said.

Newcomer to the race, Republican councilmember Scott Sherman, is promising to cut the red tape for businesses try to shake free of costly city fees.

“Too many times I hear politicians say our money, our property. They lose sight that it’s your money and your property,” Sherman said.

All three candidates agreed on the expansion of the convention center. They also all said homelessness transportation and affordable housing are the most pressing issues facing the city.

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