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San Diego’s Pro-Marriage Mayor Re-elected

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2008

sanders280.jpg In September, Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders surprised residents when he changed his views and endorsed same-sex marriage. This decision did play a part in his campaign for re-election.

While his largest opponent, Steve Francis, supports domestic partnerships and did not make Sanders’ position on marriage a central issue, he did criticize Sanders for his decision and say that he would have vetoed the city’s amimus brief filed in support of the gay marriage case that was before the state Supreme Court.

Oddly, this election did not follow the predictable lines. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports

Francis welcomed a number of progressive groups to his cause this year as opposed to 2005, when he ran as a conservative with the backing of the county GOP. In another change this year, that party’s endorsement went to Sanders.

The county GOP flooded the homes of San Diego’s 185,000 registered Republicans with mail praising the mayor and protesting Francis. At the same time, the mayor targeted the city’s 205,000 absentee voters exclusively with his own campaign mail, most recently two weeks ago with a brochure that asked, “Who do you trust to get our city back on track?” The piece answered the question by comparing Sanders’ accomplishments with alleged examples of Francis’ hypocrisy.

Francis, on the other hand, shopped for votes on the political left. His final mailer touted endorsements from three labor unions, two Latino newspapers, the Sierra Club and leaders of the black, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender, and Filipino/Asian-American communities.

Although Francis sought to portray himself as the more liberal Republican and hired a gay policy director, Democratic activists in the gay community, including Nicole Murray-Ramirez, rewarded Sanders for his support and worked for his reelection.

Sanders, who served as chief of police and as CEO of the San Diego United Way and board member for the city’s Red Cross, was “always reaching out to the gay and lesbian community,” said Murray-Ramirez, who rode in the city’s first Pride parade in 1974. “He marched in over a dozen Gay Pride parades and was the first police chief to march in uniform. He’s more of a public servant than a politician.”

When Sanders pledged his support for gay marriage, he also revealed that his daughter, Lisa, is a lesbian. Many have attributed Sanders’ marriage views to his daughter’s sexual orientation, but Corbin and Murray-Ramirez said that having gay appointees to advise him also contributed to his support.

In Tuesday’s election Sanders received 52% of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off in November.



June 4th, 2008 | LINK

Yeah Jerry!!!!

June 5th, 2008 | LINK

At the big party at the LGBT Center following the marriage decision, the room of several hundred people chanted “Jerry! Jerry!” when his name was mentioned. The gays LOVE him here. And he was the first Republican I’ve ever voted for.

June 5th, 2008 | LINK


Hurray for Mr. Sanders and hurray for my hometown of San Diego!

Glad I wasn’t born in Bakersfield!!!

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