DeMaio's Politics Create Divide In LGBT Community

Carl DeMaio To Face Rep. Bob Filner In November Runoff For San Diego Mayor's Race

If Carl DeMaio wins in November, he will become San Diego's first openly gay mayor but his politics may have created a divide among the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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DeMaio, a Republican, will face Democrat Rep. Bob Filner in a runoff in November.

Despite his sexual orientation, DeMaio has not won the full support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, in part because he never took a stance on Proposition 8, the ballot measure which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

"He's made a statement that almost denies that he's willing to be the ambassador," said LGBT voter Robert Bettinger.

However, DeMaio's plan to trim city spending has won him the support of some in the LGBT community.

"If you're asking me if a couple of years ago if I'd be supporting a Republican mayor, I'd probably have said no," said Dave McCulloch, an LGBT voter.

The LGBT wing of the San Diego Democratic Party takes issue with some of DeMaio's supporters, such as conservative talk show host and former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, who supported the effort to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Hedgecock endorsed DeMaio in September and donated to his campaign.

"He has accepted financial support, both in his council race in 2008 and in his mayoral campaign from individuals who are openly hostile to the LGBT community," said Craig Roberts, who is with San Diego Democrats for Equality.

Members of the gay community do say DeMaio has a good record of supporting LGBT causes in his time on city council but has been less forthcoming as a mayoral candidate.

DeMaio's campaign said he would have liked to participate in this story but was resting after a long day and night during Tuesday's election.

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