Interesting day in the mayoral race. Both Nathan Fletcher and Carl DeMaio rolled out significant endorsements that say a lot about their priorities and what to expect from their prospective administrations.
Nathan Fletcher and the Lifeguard Union
Fletcher announced the endorsement of the Lifeguards union and released a “Clean Water and Safe Beaches Plan.” Fletcher is clearly continuing to advance his narrative as a moderate, highlighting the environment, public safety and education.
It will be interesting to see how this message plays with primary voters in a crowded field. The two other Republicans have publicly stated that they will not accept the endorsement of city government employee unions (both were unlikely to receive them anyway, so judge their sincerity for yourself). I would assume that they may also have some sort of polling data to suggest that they are better off actively distancing themselves from the government unions.
Fletcher’s seems to sidestep the question of whether such endorsements are appropriate, by stating that he welcomes all support as an “investment in good government.” It remains to be seen whether voters believe this reasoning reflects his “New Generation of Leadership,” or simply a continuation of labor’s unholy influence in City Hall. (See Fletcher’s non-answer to the question of whether the unions have too much influence in city government at the Lincoln Club debate).
Carl DeMaio and the EGCA
DeMaio rolled out the endorsement of the Engineers and General Contractors Association and highlighted his previously released “Save Our Streets Plan.” DeMaio continues to advance the narrative that he is the reformer and businessman who can fix the dysfunction that has dominated city government.
DeMaio seems to be aware that he could be perceived as a single-issue candidate who has staked his campaign on Pension Reform. In recent weeks he has been highlighting a variety of other issues as well, from streets to veteran employment. He is also careful to emphasis that the ultimate purpose of Pension Reform and other reforms is to improve neighborhood services, and that ultimately, he is the best candidate to make those improvements.
While DeMaio has been unabashed about his combative relationship with the unions, we’ll have to see whether his support in the business community will be sufficient to fend off their barbs as the election approaches. Labor’s split between Filner and Fletcher suggests they have an “Anyone But Carl” strategy. DeMaio better hope that the public’s disgust with the government unions holds strong through November.