SAN DIEGO - Official results are still coming in for the race for San Diego mayor, but the numbers are looking good for candidate Kevin Faulconer, who declared to 10News reporter Allison Ash, "I am going to be the next mayor of this great city."
Late Tuesday evening, candidate David Alvarez tweeted, "I want t congratulate Kevin Faulconer. It's clear that he will be the next mayor of San Diego. I look forward to working with him."
With 85.9 percent of the precincts reporting, Faulconer led City Council colleague Alvarez 55.24 percent to 44.76 percent Tuesday evening. Faulconer has 131,404 votes and Alvarez has 106,492.
"We're going to have all the votes come in, but it looks great," Faulconer told Ash. "I feel very confident and our team feels very confident. I can't wait to be the next mayor of this great city."
Faulconer also thanked his supporters for all of their hard work.
"How the numbers came as strong as they did up front, I think it's just a testament to the great hard work that we were doing," he said.
Alvarez told 10News, "We have a celebration nonetheless because what we have accomplished is tremendous... what we've done in this city and this campaign is really fabulous … I'm proud of all the people that are here."
The candidates were vying to replace Bob Filner, who left office in disgrace Aug. 30, nearly three years before the end of his term. The winner will serve nearly three years remaining in the term of Filner, who was beset by scandal when he left office Aug. 30.
Both councilmen finished in the top two of nearly a dozen candidates to replace Filner in a Nov. 19 special election, but neither man garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, resulting into Tuesday's runoff.
Democrats hold a 5-4 majority on the nonpartisan City Council and the party is fielding two potentially strong candidates in Republican-held districts in elections later this year.
Alvarez picked up last-minute endorsements from fellow Democrats President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown. He is also supported by organized labor and other Democratic officials.
Faulconer received strong backing from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and pro-business Lincoln Club of San Diego County. He's also been endorsed by prominent religious leaders, including legendary San Diego homeless advocate, Father Joe Carroll.
Faulconer emphasized his experience as the senior member of the City Council and the need to continue fiscal reforms implemented under Filner's immediate predecessor, Jerry Sanders, a Republican who now runs the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Alvarez touted the need to increase funding for vital city services, such as libraries, police and fire protection, street repair and street light installation. He also campaigned on the need for job creation, more school support, making San Diego a more sustainable city and the need for a more open government.
Alvarez, 33, was born and raised in San Diego's primarily Latino Barrio Logan neighborhood and was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college.
Alvarez began his professional career in social services and education before entering politics, joining the City Council in 2010 as its District 8 representative. District 8 includes Barrio Logan, Golden Hill, Logan Heights, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Southcrest and the Tijuana River Valley.
The married father of one young daughter lives in Logan Heights and graduated from San Diego State University, as did Oxnard native Faulconer.
Faulconer, a 46-year-old Point Loma resident, is also married and has two school-aged children. He worked in public relations before joining the City Council in 2006 as a representative for District 2, which at the time included downtown, Bankers Hill, Little Italy, the Midway District, Mission Beach, Mission Hills, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Pacific Beach and Point Loma.
Redistricting removed downtown and its surrounding areas from the areas Faulconer's represents.
San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu projected a turnout of around 45-50 percent.
City Council President Todd Gloria, who has been serving as interim mayor since Filner's resignation, said that unless problems arise, the new mayor will be sworn-in March 3. Gloria declined to run for the permanent
position and has since endorsed fellow Democrat, Alvarez.
Residents in Solana Beach also went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether special use permits should be issued for private events at the Fletcher Cove Community Center. The ballot measure was passing by 51.92 to 48.08 percent, with 100 percent of the vote counted.