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Gay man takes first place in San Diego mayoral primary

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Openly gay conservative Republican Carl DeMaio captured first place in San Diego’s mayoral primary election June 5.

DeMaio, 37, currently a City Council member, and the second-place finisher, Congressman Bob Filner (D), 69, will advance to the November runoff election to head the nation’s eighth-largest city.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, DeMaio had 32 percent, Filner had 30 percent, independent Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher had 24 percent, and out lesbian San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (R) had 13 percent.

Carl DeMaio

Uncounted absentee and provisional ballots – more than 100,000 countywide – are not expected to change the order in which the candidates finish. The percentages remained relatively stable throughout Tuesday night as returns came in.

DeMaio and Filner both support same-sex marriage, but DeMaio has said that as mayor he would focus on economic issues and not address social issues. His campaign has reported donations from anti-gay activists, including at least two who helped fund the campaign for Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

For his part, Filner is leading the effort to have the U.S. Navy name a vessel after Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco supervisor who spent time in the Navy in San Diego decades before moving to San Francisco and launching his political career.

Current Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican who could not run again because of term limits, has been an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage and testified in the federal case that struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional. He has an out lesbian daughter and had endorsed Dumanis in the race.

In the final weeks of the nonpartisan race, DeMaio was the target of attacks on his boyfriend’s past criminal record as well as the donations from anti-gay donors. Nicole Murray Ramirez, a San Diego city commissioner and political columnist for LGBT Weekly, told the Bay Area Reporter prior to Tuesday’s vote that LGBT San Diegans should be concerned that DeMaio would become mayor if his opponent in the runoff was Filner.

But in an email to the B.A.R. following last week’s article about the race, Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, said that, “the vast majority of the LGBT community is happy to support Bob Filner and is confident he will beat DeMaio in November.”

Durfee pointed out that party registration in San Diego is 40 percent Democratic, 27 percent Republican, and 26 percent decline to state. That is a change from previous years, when San Diego was a decidedly more conservative city.

Yet Filner’s vote count of 51,680 Tuesday pales in comparison when the other three candidates, all of whom were GOP members prior to Fletcher’s leaving the party, are combined. The trio nabbed 118,765 total votes, though it is unlikely Dumanis or Fletcher will endorse DeMaio in the runoff.

© The Bay Area Reporter.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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Filed under: California

19 more reader comments:

  1. “openly GAY” he HID it most of the campagin

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:37pm
  2. I would like this, if he weren’t a Republican.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:37pm
  3. He is very handsome !! does he have a first gentleman for the primary? lol

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:37pm
  4. Hopefully he is planning to influence policy in the Teapublican party who typically are very anti-gay. He will probably not win the election even if he wins the primary.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:37pm
  5. GAY conservative repuke…ANTI GAY anti union anti city DUH

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:37pm
  6. I find the idea of an openly gay conservative republican rather oxymoronic…

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:38pm
  7. totally oxymoron..and he HID his partner fro m his resume as well

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:39pm
  8. Whether he hid it or not, good for him!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:40pm
  9. ^not to mention the regular kind of moronic. how can you belong to a party which fundamentally opposes your right to marry? makes no sense to me. I somebody could explain without starting a flame war, I’d greatly appreciate it.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:41pm
  10. They do exist. I’m a gay Libertarian. I’m still technically registered as a Republican, but the GOP can take a hike as far as I’m concerned. I was just registered as a Republican so I could vote for Ron Paul. I’ll be voting for President Obama in November, though. :-)

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:42pm
  11. Hold the phone, ” a gay what ? ” lol

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:42pm
  12. I’ve nevr understood myself. Seems a peculiar kind of masochism/self-loathing.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:44pm
  13. A gay republican is like a battered woman. They stay with that party in the hopes that some day things will get better and they will be loved… but no such thing will happen.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:46pm
  14. take ur medication philip katcher u r hysterical.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:48pm
  15. Richard, doesn’t that leave them a choice between a gay man and a democrat? I think folks these days are just sheep-like enough to vote him in on good looks.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:05pm
  16. i still don’t understand how someone can be gay and a Repubican

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:32pm
  17. Woo hoo!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:39pm
  18. “Gay Republican” -sweetest contradiction? Sure, Republicans are always associated with religious people and oppose all things “sinful”, like “being gay” but not all Christians think that way. If you really think about it…how many are in the closet, but because of the way they were raised they just don’t deal with who they really are? When I see an article about a gay Republican I am encouraged. There is a lot of momentum right now.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:09pm
  19. I suppose it’s a good thing in a Republican bastion like San Diego, but I am getting very weary of “conservative gay Republicans”. . .

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 9:17pm