San Diego City Councilmember Mark Kersey, once a leader in the local Young Republican chapter, in a series of tweets today announced he is registering as an Independent:
“My record at City Hall has been independent-minded and bipartisan. That’s because it is my responsibility to answer to, and do what I believe is right for, all the people of San Diego, regardless of party affiliation.
“City Council offices are, after all, nonpartisan.
“Make no mistake: both parties have plenty of good and decent members. But today’s political climate rewards ideologues, not problem-solvers. I ran for office to rebuild San Diego, not localize the debate over federal and state partisan malice.
“For these reasons I have decided to disconnect from the polarized prism of partisan politics and become an independent. My decision is based not on a single issue or vote but something I have been wrestling with for some time.
“I will continue to work towards bipartisan solutions to our City’s issues for the final two years of my term, as I have over the last six.”
This follows State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, representing much of the same area as Kersey, switching from Republican to Democrat in January.
On the nine-member City Council, the Kersey “move to the middle” leaves Chris Cate and Scott Sherman as the lone two Republicans, along with six Democrats. Dems had a 5-4 majority prior to the November 2018 election, when Republican Lorie Zapf lost her seat to Democrat Jennifer Campbell.
“Always proud to call you my colleague and friend, Mark,” tweeted Mark Cafferty, CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “That will never change regardless of the letter they put next to your name. Thank you for your continued leadership, thoughtfulness and support on everything we have worked on together. #Respect See you soon.”
Local GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric reacted: “Kersey will find that there is scant support outside of the Republican Party for individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited, efficient government. Anyone who subscribes to those principles is welcome in our party any time.”