Mayor Profiles: Four candidates in the lead for Nov. 19 San Diego mayoral race

By Elizabeth Marie Himchak

A year after San Diegans voted for a mayor, they are heading to the polls to repeat the process.

The special election to determine who will serve out Bob Filner’s remaining term will be Tuesday, Nov. 19. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the two leading candidates will be in a run-off early next year.

There are 11 names on the ballot, but recently Bruce Coons withdrew. Of the front-runner candidates for the non-partisan office, Michael Aguirre, David Alvarez and Nathan Fletcher are Democrats. (Fletcher made a recent switch after being a Republican then independent in last year’s mayoral race.) Kevin Faulconer is a Republican. Their profiles are featured.

Michael J. Aguirre

is a 64-year-old Banker’s Hill resident and native San Diegan who has lived here continuously since 1980. He is the divorced father of two adult children.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, his juris doctorate from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a master’s degree from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Aguirre is an attorney and from 2004 to 2008 was San Diego City Attorney. His campaign website is at

“We need to return the governance of the City of San Diego to the people of San Diego,” Aguirre said when asked why he is running for mayor. “I will work to restore integrity to the Mayor’s office and support policies that help the greatest number of San Diego residents. Making every-day services better for people is what local government should be about.”

He said the three greatest issues impacting the city revolve around the delivery of vital city services. Aguirre said they are:

• Repairing streets and sidewalks, and providing dependable water and sewer infrastructure;

• Ensuring libraries and recreation centers are open and operating; and

• Developing a secure water supply and negotiating fairer energy rates from SDG&E.

As for how he would bring change to these areas, Aguirre said, “It’s a matter of priorities. While it’s nice to have a beautiful downtown library, I would rather see our existing community libraries open more hours. While keeping the Chargers in San Diego by finding a way to build a new stadium is important, assuring that parks and community recreation centers are open for our young people is more important.

“Additionally, we need to explore alternative funding sources. The city isn’t out of the woods concerning pensions. In fact, unfunded pensions cost taxpayers almost $4,500 per household per year and those costs are anticipated to double soon. … more of our tax dollars are going to pay for city retiree benefits (than) are budgeted for firefighters. … I want to reduce our water and electricity rates so we have more independence in making spending priorities.”

David Alvarez

is a 33-year-old Logan Heights resident and native San Diegan who has lived here all his life. He and his wife, Xochitl, have a young daughter, Izel. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University and been District 8’s City Councilman for three years.



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