Who’s not jealous of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer? He got more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary, so he doesn’t have to sweat a November runoff. He’s in.
No more campaigning.
No more glad-handing.
No more asking for contributions.
No more getting daubed with makeup for TV spots. (Indeed, no more TV spots!!!)
If I were Faulconer, this summer I would vow one thing:
I’d make certain our beaches are receiving the level of care and attention these natural treasures deserve. To do so, I would visit every beach in the city during the summer. I’d hit La Jolla particularly hard.
I’d do public service ads on the importance of sunscreen. I’d rescind the beach booze ban — just for me.
I’d get to Clairemont’s problems in the fall. Um, late fall.
Faulconer is lucky, but some other candidates are not. They didn’t get 50 percent plus one, so they have a November runoff staring them in the face.
One must feel for them.
Campaigning in San Diego in the summer?
It’s gotta be rough out there. Imagine being a politician and competing against the zoo, SeaWorld, Legoland, Belmont Park, Mission Bay, the Gaslamp, the Padres.
Oh, that last one? We just joke. The only thing more unpopular than a pothole is a Padre. (Except Wil Myers. The kid is playing some serious ball. Which means, of course, they’ll trade him.)
Seriously, during summer, it might be hard to even find San Diego voters.
If you knock on a door in Mission Beach, who knows, you might get an Airbnb renter from Akron. If you campaign at the beach, you’ll reach thousands of voters — from Arizona.
And the challenge isn’t just finding voters. It’s also trying to engage them. Everybody is in vacation/party/barbecue/beach mode. Nobody wants to think about any issue that’s deeper than a sunscreen layer.
How are you going to get anybody interested in the fragile state of our sewer lines?
Here’s what we’re missing by Faulconer not campaigning. On his website, he notes he did this: “Created a Performance and Analytics Department to foster a results-oriented customer service culture of accountability at the city.”
Can you imagine hearing about such notable accomplishments during the next five months?
Right. Bring it on …
There’s actually a movement to do away with the 50-percent-plus-one rule. No matter how well a candidate does in June, he or she should still have to meet the runner-up in November, advocates of this reform measure say.
The reasoning: More people vote in November, so November is a truer test of the electorate than June.
In a Voice of San Diego commentary, Jeff Marston, co-chair of the Independent Voter Project (IVP), called the current system “a democracy-destroying, establishment-protecting election law that is ripe for reworking.”
IVP wants the San Diego City Council to put the issue before the voters in November.
I say: Yikes! Let’s hope not.
Look, if people aren’t showing up to vote in June, who’s fault is that?
And if the opposing party isn’t putting up a strong enough challenger to bring the vote to a runoff, who’s fault is that? Toni Atkins could have run for mayor. She didn’t. Todd Gloria could have run for mayor. He didn’t.
Faulconer got 57 percent of the vote. The next closest challenger was Lori Saldaña, who got 22 percent. Faulconer had more than $1 million in his campaign chest. Saldaña had about $30,000.
I’m no political expert, but I don’t think she could close that gap — even with a higher number of younger and minority voters turning out in November.
Instead, we would be forced to endure a longer election cycle, and all that comes with it.
Let Faulconer get to work on those all-important beaches.