Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom, a Democrat, has met Republican District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and sees her around her small city east of the city of San Diego. But local Democratic Party head Jess Durfee? Sessom says she’s never even seen him before.

Sessom has fired back at Durfee after he warned local elected Democrats they would forever lose party support if they endorsed Republicans like Dumanis for San Diego mayor. Sessom and other Democrats have endorsed Dumanis for mayor, heightening Democratic anxiety over the party’s past inability to win the city’s top spot.

Democratic U.S. Congressman Bob Filner is running and Democratic state Sen. Christine Kehoe is considering a bid.

Sessom reiterated her support for Dumanis, and blasted Durfee for writing that she was playing “Republican politics.”

“It is you Mr. Durfee who are playing by the Republican rule book — fall in line or we will make your life miserable!” Sessom wrote. “And the only reason you offer to Democrats for voting for a Democrat in a non-partisan race is that it’s ‘Our turn!?’”

“Do your best Mr. Durfee — rain fire and brimstone on me,” she added. “I intend to remain a Democrat because I believe in what the Party stands for and your letter does not embody that!”

Durfee said he had no reaction to Sessom’s letter, but confirmed that he hadn’t met her before.

“It’s very unusual that I haven’t met an elected official, but Mary apparently doesn’t travel in those same circles,” Durfee said.

In the meantime, local Republican Party leader Tony Krvaric said he would treat Republican elected officials who endorsed Democrats for mayor the same way as Durfee. There wouldn’t be any more Republican endorsements for them, he said.

“We have a similar policy,” Krvaric said. “There are no nonpartisan races. Every elected office is an opportunity to put Republican ideas into action.”

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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