This special election is meant to identify the two runoff candidates for Mayor of San Diego, which will then be decided in February 2014. However, any candidate who wins tomorrow's vote with 50% plus one vote overall would win the mayoral race outright.
Author's Note: I am aware that there are several other candidates for mayor. However, based on recent polling, none of the candidates other than the three listed below have any realistic chance of getting elected, much less getting to the runoff. Let's take a look at the top three candidates, and see where they stand in relation to a new stadium for the Chargers.
Kevin Faulconer is the main Republican candidate for mayor, and should definitely win one the the spots in the february runoff. Faulconer currently serves as a City Councilman, and represents District 2 - representing western San Diego (Point Loma, Ocean Beach, and the areas surrounding Mission Bay). The word on the street with Faulconer is that he's not so much a leader and go-getter as a person who likes to go along and get along.
Here's what Faulconer said about a new Chargers stadium:
"As mayor, I'm going to work to ensure that we keep the Chargers in San Diego. I'm less concerned about where a stadium may or may not be located. What I'm primarily concerned about is any financing plan has to protect the taxpayers. That'll be my number one, two and three objectives." - Faulconer, in an interview with CBS 8
One element of Faulconer's candidacy which should not be ignored is that he's apparently the chosen candidate of several prominent businessmen, such as stadium booster and Doug Manchester.
Nathan Fletcher is one of the two main Democrat candidates for mayor, competing with David Alvarez for what appears to be the second spot in the runoff. Fletcher is a former Marine with service in Iraq. After his return to California following military service, he was elected to the California State Assembly, 75th district - representing portions of North San Diego County, including Escondido, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Fletcher is viewed by some as a political opportunist, having switched from Republican prior to 2012, then Independent in 2012, then Democrat in 2013.
As far as a Chargers' stadium is concerned, Fletcher seems to be in favor of a multi-purpose facility:
"The Chargers are part of San Diego. They're a part of who we are and we want to keep them. I don't think it makes sense to build a standalone box that's used a handful of times to play football in. But I think it does make sense to do a multi-purpose, multi-use facility that can be used as convention space. We can get boxing and final fours, big concerts and hopefully have something that people visit 300-plus days a year, which also means that the city can make money off of it." - Fletcher, in an interview with CBS 8.
It should not be overlooked that Fletcher, while in the State Assembly, helped push through a deal which would have funneled millions of extra dollars into downtown redevelopment, at about the time the Chargers began examining the use of redevelopment money to build a new stadium downtown.
David Alvarez is the other Democrat candidate for mayor, competing with Fletcher for the 2nd spot in the runoff. Alvarez is currently serving as a City Councilman, and represents District 8 - representing southern San Diego (Barrio logan, Sherman Heights, San Ysidro, and Otay Mesa). Alvarez was first elected to the City Council in 2010, after doing both private sector work on affordable housing projects.
Here's Alvarez's thoughts on a new Chargers stadium:
"Let's keep the Chargers here. Let's give the Aztecs a place as well, we want to make sure they stay in town. I think we can look at something really creative like… maybe we can attract a soccer team here and we can have a joint-use facility. I like the… location at the Q, it's well-connected to transit, to the highways. I think that's the best location and I'd like to work with (the Chargers) on keeping them here. One thing that I don't support is using taxpayer dollars to fund that. I think we can get to a point… we've just got to sit down and negotiate this." - Alvarez, in an interview with CBS 8.
As far as the Chargers' stadium push is concerned, it's really nothing more than the same boilerplate talk we've been hearing from our elected officials for years. based on some of the things they've done in the past, and who's supporting their candidacy, I'd guess the chances of the Chargers getting a new stadium built in San Diego are slightly better with Faulconer or Fletcher in office.