San Diego, Calif., voters go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new mayor. If no candidate breaks 50 percent in the special election, however, there will be a runoff early next year between the top two finishers.
The candidates are vying to succeed Bob Filner, who resigned his office in August after only nine months on the job as a result of being engulfed in sexual harassment allegations. Filner was the first Democrat to be elected San Diego mayor in 20 years.
According to current polling, Republican city councilor Kevin Faulconer, 46, leads the would-be San Diego mayors with 40 percent of the vote. Two Democrats, Nathan Fletcher and David Alvarez, are projected to be neck-and-neck for second place. The other nine candidates are not expected to be a factor in the outcome when the votes are counted tomorrow note. Many voters are apparently casting absentee ballots rather than showing up at a polling location.
Fletcher, who was considered at one point to be the frontrunner, is an Iraq vet and former state assemblyman who previously switched parties from Republican to Independent to Democrat. Alvarez is also a city councilman. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Alvarez and Fletcher are jousting for the second spot and a runoff with Faulconer early next year. Each has the endorsement of a collection of party notables and labor unions."
The Times added that "Polls now suggest that Faulconer is the only candidate with even an outside chance of winning enough votes to avoid a runoff."
As occurred in Louisiana on Saturday, runoff elections can be unpredictable, however.
San Diego State professor Bryan Adams claims that in the expected low-turnout election, "If a candidate can convince voters that they're the one that will actually be able to fill in the potholes better than the other candidates... that will really win them the votes," NBC News reported.