CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - Two political opponents running against each other for the Coronado City Council have formed a special bond which they refuse to let be ruined by the campaign.
"She's my opponent, but I love my opponent. She's like a mother to me," says candidate Derik Mundt about fellow candidate Mary Sikes.
The two have been friendly since Mundt was a teenager volunteering for the Coronado Film Festival, which Sikes ran until her retirement this year. However, they did not realize when they decided to run that they would be doing so against the other.
"She's a saint," Mundt said. "When you're sick, she brings you soup. That's what she does. She's like the mom of Coronado."
Mundt recently found out how true those sentiments were. Last week he began feeling sick, with a fever topping 102. It turned out to be a case of the flu so bad, he was taken to the emergency room. Mundt ended up hospitalized for five days. One of his first calls was to Sikes.
"My first thought was just to get there and just be there," Sikes said.
Sikes visited Mundt in the hospital each day and stayed in touch with his mother to update her on his status. When it became clear he would not be released in time for the final candidate forum in the race, Sikes made a surprising offer.
"You've come this far and it's so close," she told Mundt. "I'll give your speech tomorrow because I know it by heart."
When Mundt was finally released from the hospital Monday afternoon, it was Sikes who came to pick him up and drive him home.
"Dirty politics don't belong in politics," Mundt says. "This is how it's supposed to be."
There are six total candidates running for two open seats on the Coronado City Council, meaning it's possible Mundt and Sikes could both win or lose.
"What we've been saying to each other all along is if at least one of us gets on, we know that this town will be in good hands," Sikes said.