Our next Winner in this year’s election is City Councilman Kevin Faulconer. Yes, he was one Republican that had a couple of reasons to smile Tuesday.

In the final month of the campaign season, the San Diego Association of Realtors, the Lincoln Club and a group of hoteliers dumped tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign to support Proposition C, the measure that would ensure that lease revenue from around Mission Bay is protected for maintenance and projects at Mission Bay and other city parks.

The measure was sponsored by Faulconer and City Councilwoman Donna Frye. It’s fair to say that if you have a citywide measure and it can get support from Frye, Faulconer and a bunch of Realtors and hoteliers, you can expect an easy passage, and Proposition C was no exception.

It’s an issue Faulconer’s been working on since before he was a City Councilman. He had to take on the U-T editorial board on the matter.

Behind it all is a simple fact that the hoteliers long ago recognized: The city is in financial trouble. Carve out your piece of the pie if you can and hold on for the ride — hence, of course, the hoteliers successful advocacy of their own Tourism Marketing District last year.

But Faulconer got to protect a big jewel in his district. At the same time, he watched Proposition D, the ban on booze, pass. This was a triumph for Faulconer. He had waffled on the booze ban years ago. But watching that melee Labor Day 2007 on Pacific Beach pushed him into the camp wanting to ban booze. He got a temporary one-year ban through and then he and his colleagues decided — and looking back, it was brilliant — to confirm the decision by having it put on the ballot. In this instance, Faulconer set himself up to win both ways: If the booze ban was repealed by voters, he would have gotten credit for letting people decide. But since it passed, he looks like he was on top of the public opinion from the beginning and they validated a tough call.

He had to take on the politically powerful grocers and liquor groups. And he’ll have some very grateful neighbors. There will be some residual anger from those who will long miss the chance to have a beer and throw horse shoes on the beach. It’s a shame that has been lost. But the people passionate about that simply don’t vote as often as the homeowners and residents in the beach community that pushed it through.

Faulconer gets a lot of love from them for the move.

He’s a Republican and he was a winner Tuesday. They are not easy to find.


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