Bob Filner is the next mayor of San Diego.

Filner, a 70-year-old Democratic congressman, defeated Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, according to unofficial returns from the county registrar. Filner’s margin was about 10,000 votes.

Though thousands of provisional ballots remain outstanding, DeMaio conceded the race at a mid-morning press conference at a downtown hotel, surrounded by supporters, staffers and family members, moments after he called to congratulate Filner.

“This may be the end of a campaign but this is not the end of my involvement in serving this great city that I love,” DeMaio said.

Filner hasn’t given an official victory speech yet, but he’s appeared on various television and radio stations throughout the morning.

“I’m getting started, honored and humbled by the fact that I’m going to be able to lead one of the great cities of America,” Filner told KPBS radio prior to DeMaio’s concession.

DeMaio said that internal polling had him up 5 points on Saturday, but he couldn’t hold back the tide that swept Democrats to numerous victories Tuesday night.

Current Mayor Jerry Sanders, a DeMaio supporter, also released a statement on Filner’s victory.

“I want to congratulate Mr. Filner,” Sanders said. “He’s a long-time San Diegan and my hope is that he will continue to move our city forward with the kinds of reforms that have fueled San Diego’s turn-around. I wish him all the best and look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.”

We’ll have a full wrap up of the campaign and a take on the challenges Filner will face in office later today.

Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

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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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