You Don’t Have To Be Gay To Be Mayor of San Diego. Okay, Maybe You Do.
San Diego’s mayoral race isn’t until next June, but four contenders have already thrown their hat in the ring—and two of them are gay. Out politicos Carl DeMaio, a City Councilman, and Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego’s District Attorney, have both declared their candidacy. And—wait for it—both are Republicans!
DeMeio, a polarizing figure in San Diego politics, has focused on fiscal issues like pension reform and has been criticized for not taking a stronger stand on gay rights. ““Carl DeMaio is gay, but is that enough?” SD Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee said to San Diego LGBT Weekly. “When he ran for City Council in 2008, there was a major attack on the LGBT community in the form of Proposition 8 also on the ballot. What did DeMaio do for our community against that awful proposition? Nothing. He didn’t say a word. The LGBT community needs a mayor who will speak out when we are under attack.”
Dumanis, the first openly gay DA in the country, has courted the LGBT vote more directly. Unlike DeMeio, she came out strongly against Prop 8, and initiated programs to combat hate crimes and same-sex domestic abuse. She’s received the support of the Victory Fund, which vets candidates based on their stances on LGBT issues, and is a favorite of current mayor Jerry Sanders, who’s daughter Lisa is also gay. Seriously, are there even straight people in San Diego any more?
As if the ballot box wasn’t pink enough, Democratic State Sen. Christine Kehoe, a lesbian, has begun a campaign committee and is “exploring” a run. Gay activist/journalist Rocky Neptun had started a dark-horse campaign but withdrew from the race in June.
The two straight candidates are Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat. Like anyone cares.