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Faulconer win about likeability, governing style

Moderate Republican mayor easily re-elected despite surge in Democratic voters

David Garrick, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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Vince Vasquez, a National University policy analyst, said the mayor’s easy win on Tuesday might have less to do with Faulconer himself and be more about San Diego’s expectations.

Other than Bob Filner in 2012, the city has a long track record of electing moderate Republican mayors who are personally appealing, and Faulconer fits that profile, Vasquez said.

From Pete Wilson to Dick Murphy and Jerry Sanders, San Diego’s mayors typically avoid conflict and focus on boosting tourism and the nuts and bolts of government.

"These are the issues people in San Diego expect their mayor to focus on," Vasquez said. "Every community has their own political DNA and their expectations of what kind of leaders they elect or are electable."

Vasquez said Faulconer, who served on the City Council from 2006 to 2014 before being elected mayor in a special election two years ago, seems to have figured that out and responded effectively.

"We're a big city but we also have sort of a small town feel where we have really tight-knit neighborhoods, and that requires leadership through collegiality," Vasquez said. "Faulconer has had a lot of experience doing that on the council, and has seen the benefits of that versus antagonism and bickering and the sorts of colorful politics