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San Diego City Council members picked Ben Hueso to be the new council president in a 6-2 vote on Tuesday.
Soon after the public finished commenting on their preferences, new Councilman Todd Gloria nominated Hueso for president.
“I think he has the experience and leadership to serve us well,” said Gloria, adding that Hueso would be able to be a strong council president and a check on the mayor in the strong mayor system.
However, new Councilwoman Sherri Lightner nominated Donna Frye for president, saying the council members should make nominations and vote on both candidates.
She later said she agreed with comments from Councilman Carl DeMaio, who said there was intense politicking regarding the appointment of council president. While she didn’t mind talking about who will be president, she said she didn’t appreciate “veiled threats” about what her committee appointments will be.
She said her experience in her neighborhoods showed support for Frye.
“They recognize a kindred spirit,” Lightner said.
But Lightner and Frye herself were alone in voting for Frye, as all other council members supported Hueso.
Hueso thanked council members for their support and said there would be no “ill will.”
“We will work well together,” he said. “I will make sure your voices are heard and we will keep San Diego ‘America’s Finest City.’”
DeMaio eventually voted for Hueso, but he first suggested that Frye and Hueso split the presidency, springing out of his seat and holding a coin.
“The one of you that wins the coin toss gets council president year one and the other gets council president year two,” he said.
No one seconded DeMaio’s motion.