Some observations on the first few days of the Mayor’s race:
#1 Republicans Up. The Republican candidates for Mayor (DeMaio, Dumanis, Fletcher) are up and running: raising money, throwing up websites, gathering endorsements, hiring consultants. The Democrats are having a harder time getting on their feet. I can’t imagine this is planned. More like they spent so long deciding that they still have to clear their heads and get going building organizations. Of course, they have labor.
#2 Money. By now I think many readers have been called by multiple candidates or their agents many times. In particular, Fletcher seems to have a number of people with overlapping lists calling for him. In public, each of the campaigns is underselling what they expect to raise (I believe Tom Shepard’s hope the other day in one of the papers that Fletcher would raise 100k is a good example). What are the campaigns predicting internally? My understanding is Fletcher is aiming high, at $300,000 which is important given to bolster his credibility as a city candidate. Given Fletcher’s contacts at the state and federal level this is not an unrealistic goal I’d think. Campaign Carl is next at $150,000 raised (he says he’s matching out of his pocket). Dumanis doesn’t appear to be focused on short term fundraising – figuring that as the DA she’s doesn’t have to demonstrate credibility.
#3 The Establishment. With Dumanis garnering the endorsement of Mayor Sanders and Councilman Faulconer, the old establishment is certainly gravitating towards her campaign. There was some question whether or not Sanders would endorse after Dumanis opposed his pension measure, but then again I don’t think there are too many people that think Sanders’ heart is actually too deeply invested in that venture. Several months ago it sounded like the old, largely downtown establishment was leaning towards Fletcher… that he had a gentleman’s agreement that both Dumanis and the Mayor would be supportive of his bid as a way to stop DeMaio (pretty firm evidence: Tom Shepard, who largely consults for establishment candidates including the Mayor, is Fletcher’s consultant). It’s unknown what occurred behind the scenes, but Dumanis jumped in and the old establishment followed.
#4 The Establishment II. The last paragraph implies that Fletcher got the shaft. Maybe he did. But San Diego has gotten bigger in the last decade, and there are more than one set in the establishment. Fletcher may have wanted to unite them all, but I believe he managed to lose one (old establishment), and win one (new establishment). The new establishment are the tech companies, the bio companies, many of the New Majority types. My opinion is that this group – usually younger and better heeled than the old establishment – is going to circle the wagon around Fletcher.
#5 The Establishment III. I don’t think it’s much of a secret that DeMaio is hardly the darling of the establishment. Thinking about this this morning I’d call his base the “Proposition D Coalition”: maybe not the leaders of but the members of many of the business and Republican associations. He probably grinds up more with Fletcher in the GOP arena than he does with Dumanis, who largely lost what support she had in the more partisan arena over her pension position.