On a day celebrating freedom of expression, San Diego’s Republican mayor and Democratic congresswoman stayed in the closet on a prime issue of public interest: collusion.

Rep. Susan Davis waves to the University Avenue crowds at the San Diego Pride Parade. Photo by Chris Stone

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Rep. Susan Davis — her district includes the route of the 3 1/2-hour San Diego Pride Parade — were asked if Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain provided evidence of intent to help Russia influence the 2016 presidential election.

“We’re out here celebrating Pride today,” Faulconer said Saturday on what he called “one of the funnest days of the year.”

“Having a great time, and that’s what we’re focusing on. And it’s great to see so many San Diegans coming together, smiles on their faces, and celebrating diversity — what makes us strong.”

Davis, a nine-term congresswoman, also avoided using the C-word.

“There were certainly a lot of discussions going on. We know that,” she said. “They certainly were looking forward to the engagement” with the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer in June 2016.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions met recently with an anti-LGBT group, and Faulconer was asked whether that might affect San Diego at its U.S. attorney level.

“We’re really focusing on San Diego today and celebrating our strong support for LGBT rights and issues,” he said in a DMV parking lot staging area for the parade. “Everybody’s coming together as San Diegans to show our support as friends, as allies, as partners of the LGBT community.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer greets crowd near start of San Diego Pride Parade. Photo by Chris Stone

Faulconer has dismayed some California Republican leaders for not being the party’s high-profile candidate for governor in 2018.

Veteran Sacramento-watcher Dan Walters wrote: “Not having a Republican running in November for governor, the most important office to be filled next year, will depress GOP voter turnout, and that could be critical in close congressional elections.”

But the mayor rejected that critique in a brief chat with Times of San Diego.

“I think every race across the state is going to be won or lost on its own merits,” he said while recalling his May 2016 campaign promise to serve out his four-year term if he won re-election in November.

“My focus is here in San Diego,” he said. “We’ve got a lot to do in the next 3 1/2 years.”