Phase 1 of the special election to replace former Mayor Bob Filner is finally over.

Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Falconer will face off in a February runoff – a deceptively short few months away.

Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis explained how Nathan Fletcher found himself in third place again. It seems Mickey Kasparian, the leader of the city’s largest labor union, might’ve had a heavy hand in that. The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council collected more than $1 million to back Alvarez instead. We’ll see how that union sway plays out in the coming months.

NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia pointed out the holiday season looms before voters return to their polling places. And turnout could go either way: Democrats have an advantage of about 100,000 more registered voters in the city, but Republicans are usually more likely to get out and actually vote.

Check out this week’s San Diego Explained for more on the city’s political dynamics, and what this race means for Republicans outside of our fair hamlet.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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