Father Joe Carroll endorses Councilman Kevin Faulconer for San Diego mayor

SAN DIEGO - The founder of Father Joe's Villages, which provide housing for the homeless, endorsed Councilman Kevin Faulconer for San Diego mayor Thursday.

Father Joe Carroll, who is now retired, said Faulconer has a long track record of helping homeless women, children, families and veterans.

"Kevin is the only candidate who has proven time and again that he will make sure public resources are spent effectively to improve the lives of San Diegans," Carroll said. "Kevin knows this city and how to get things accomplished at City Hall. We need Kevin as mayor to help San Diego's less fortunate get the care and attention they need."

Faulconer, who represented downtown San Diego before redistricting went into effect last year, was one of the city leaders who helped get Connections Housing built on Sixth Avenue. The facility provides shelter and social services for the homeless.

He said he favors getting the homeless into housing, where they can receive the extra counseling they need, something that should lower the financial burden on the city and healthcare organizations.

Faulconer called Carroll a San Diego original and said, "I'm humbled and honored to have his support."

"Though he's retired, he's still a big name in San Diego and still revered in San Diego, so yeah, I think it's a very important endorsement," said political strategist John Dadian.

Carroll said, "Kevin and I have worked together on this issue and there hasn't been the turmoil at City Hall on this issue because of it."

Faulconer faces Councilman David Alvarez in the Feb. 11 runoff election.

The two have been touting numerous endorsements over the past couple of weeks. Faulconer has recently gained the backing of the Asian American business owners and the San Diego Police Officers Association, while Alvarez's support has come from state Democratic officeholders and city lifeguards.

The endorsement came one day before the second debate of the runoff campaign. The two candidates will take questions Friday at television station KUSI.

Michael Vu, the San Diego Registrar of Voters, said more than 300,000 mail ballots were sent out Monday, and by Thursday, more than 20,000 have been returned.  

"We could have a 55 percent turnout for a special election, which would be significant, but we'll have to see if those numbers hold," he said.  

A majority of voters for the mayoral race in San Diego he said will cast ballots by mail.

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