San Diego political insiders have been all a-Twitter today (literally) with the filing of candidacy papers for the City of San Diego Mayoral Race by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Ongoing speculation including a bet between Rostra blogger Barry Jantz and San Diego County Taxpayers Association senior director Chris Cate on whether Dumanis would actually enter the race ran rampant and fairly evenly divided. Jantz is still parsing his obligation to pay up, but pay up he will.
San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio is the other “major” candidate who has filed his paperwork. Others still in the wings include Congressman Bob Filner, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.
Numerous observers think Dumanis is most concerned about whether Fletcher decides to run. Rumor has it that Dumanis and her representatives tried to talk Fletcher out of running. We’ll see if this is so.
But if all of the above mentioned candidates get into the race and there aren’t any surprise entrants, the individual Dumanis should fear the most in the primary is Congressman Bob Filner.
If DeMaio, Dumnais, Faulconer, Filner, and Fletcher all run, you’ve got four Republicans and one Democrat. All the staunch Dems and liberal decline to state voters would mark their ballot for Filner from among these choices. Many of these votes would otherwise swing to Dumanis with Filner removed from this lineup, and she makes it into the general for sure. She faces off against Nathan Fletcher as a probable opponent in the general, with DeMaio having an outside chance.
With Filner in the lineup, Dumanis has to fight it out for all the Republican votes along with the social conservatives among the decline to state crowd. Nathan Fletcher picks up the lion’s share of these votes and it’s likely to be enough to get him into the primary against Filner.
Some pundits say Filner’s negatives will prevent him from being a viable candidate. These won’t matter to Democrats who will vote for him against a slate of Republican challengers and get him into the general election. What’s more, as I wrote in an earlier post here on Rostra, Filner has been the underdog candidate every single time he’s run for an office on the first attempt and won all of those races despite the predictions.
Another bit of trivia working against DeMaio and Faulconer: a sitting City Councilmember hasn’t won a Mayor’s race in 48 years (Councilman Francis E. (Frank) Curran, in 1963).
Finally, lest you all forget, I’ll helpfully remind you that I called the Governor’s race for Jerry Brown here on Rostra on October 9, 2009, long before anyone else did.
As you’re reading this, Dumanis must be sticking pins into her Bob Filner voodoo doll.
Alas, though the February 2011 Meatball Poll showed a groundswell for Governor Pete Wilson, it’s doubtful he’ll be showing up to save the day.
Mayor Bob Filner? Get used to it.