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This post originally appeared in the Feb. 22 Politics Report. Get the Politics Report delivered to your inbox.
Councilwoman Barbara Bry has had no problem going negative in her mayoral run, but that might be changing down the stretch.
In a televised debate Thursday night, she made a positive case for her policy preferences and life experiences, and only briefly directed remarks at one of her opponents.
A week earlier, at a debate hosted by the San Diego Association of Realtors, both her opening and closing remarks were directed at her opponents.
She started by criticizing Gloria for a since-pulled TV ad attacking her record on short-term vacation rentals.
“My Valentine’s day started with a second series of TV ads funded by a committee supporting Mr. Gloria, a committee funded by three labor unions, attacked me for my vote to support legislation on short-term rental legislation, and then to rescind it,” Bry began. “I call on Mr. Gloria today to denounce this deceptive ad.” Gloria ignored the prompt.
She closed the debate by arguing unions were attacking her because they’d rather face Councilman Scott Sherman in a November runoff.
“They don’t want me to come out of the March primary because they know in a race against Mr. Gloria, just the two of us, I have a chance to win,” Bry said. “That may be why Mr. Sherman got into the race late.”
Recent polls give Gloria a sizable lead in first place, with Bry and Sherman in a dead heat to advance into a November runoff.
In Thursday’s KUSI debate, Bry stuck to her policy preferences and professional credentials, with one brief exception on short-term vacation rentals.
“As mayor, I would simply enforce our existing code, and I’m tired of hearing my opponents say, ‘Oh, we just need to pass a new law. We need to enforce,’” Bry said. “We have a law on the books, it’s a very good law, that protects our neighborhoods. As mayor, I’m going to enforce that existing law.”