Mayor Faulconer cruises to second term

Posted at 6:52 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 10:55:19-04

SAN DIEGO - Kevin Faulconer is preparing for another term as mayor of San Diego. 

As of early Wednesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, he had received just over 58 percent of the vote to top ex-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, 22 percent, and former Councilman Ed Harris, 19 percent. He needed 50 percent to avoid a runoff.

As is typical in a race with an incumbent, the election was a referendum on Faulconer's performance since he replaced Bob Filner in 2014. 

While Faulconer was thought to have an advantage over his rivals, an increase in Democratic voter registration in San Diego raised the question of whether he could muster enough support to win reelection outright or be forced to a November runoff. The incumbent is a Republican, while Harris is a Democrat and Saldana is a former Democrat running as an independent in the technically nonpartisan race.

Harris, who leads the city's lifeguard union, filled Faulconer's seat on the City Council by appointment for about eight months. Saldana served in the Assembly from 2004-2010.

While Faulconer has boosted municipal services during good economic times and devoted more money to badly needed road repairs, he's caught flak from Chargers fan groups for refusing to endorse, or oppose, the team's plans to build a downtown stadium and convention center annex. The leaders of the groups contend the mayor is beholden to downtown hotel owners who would rather expand the convention center at its current site.

Faulconer has also faced recent criticism for staffing shortages among San Diego police dispatchers that have resulted in sometimes long delays for 911 callers. His budget for the upcoming fiscal year proposes spending $652,000 to hire additional dispatchers.