Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who is running in the 2020 race to become San Diego’s mayor. Photo by Ken Stone

The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed Assemblyman Todd Gloria for mayor Friday, citing his experience in city government and the need to bridge a gulf in a diverse city with a history of white mayors.

If he prevails, Gloria would be the city’s first Filipino and openly gay mayor.

Both Gloria and Barbara Bry, his opponent in the Nov. 3 election, are Democrats. They share many of the same big-picture views.

“Neither support defunding the police,” the U-T wrote.

“Both see a need to rely more on mental health professionals than law enforcement in dealing with the homeless and want to fine-tune pandemic safety rules to spur the local economy. Both are determined to address the city’s crumbling infrastructure.”

Ultimately, it was Gloria’s experience on the council – where he served from 2008-16 – and as interim mayor in 2013 after Bob Filner resigned amid multiple sexual harassment allegations, which prompted the editorial board’s endorsement.

The U-T credited Bry, the San Diego City Council’s President pro Tempore, for being a “tougher manager” and for raising some of the first questions about the city’s 20-year, $127 million lease-to-own acquisition of Sempra Energy’s former headquarters.

That deal – the 19-floor office tower at 101 Ash Street was found to be riddled with issues which made it unsafe for use, including asbestos contamination – has been one of Bry’s major talking points in the campaign.

Gloria, as a councilmember, made the motion to purchase the building in 2016. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said it would save the city $44 million in rent over 20 years.

The paper noted that “Faulconer and his aides deserve the bulk of the blame” for the debacle, but added that Bry, “among the first to question the deal at City Hall, has a point when she says taxpayers should be `furious’ that Gloria didn’t do more” to check Faulconer’s assurances about the promise of the deal.

– City News Service