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Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at a press conference for the Yes! For a Better San Diego campaign in October 2019. / Photo by Megan Wood

This is our last podcast of the Faulconer era.

After this week, Mayor Kevin Faulconer will step down and Todd Gloria will take the job. On the show, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby offered reflections of the last seven years of Faulconer’s mayorship.

One of the moments that will likely color his legacy, said Keatts, is the Chargers’ exit from San Diego. Though it was set in motion by no fault of the administration, it’s something everyone knew about that changed the city. On political matters, Lewis and Libby note Faulconer’s extreme caution and fixation on optics defined his leadership style and led to a lot of inaction.

But Faulconer’s tenure wasn’t just a big deal for city operations. He was also the most powerful Republican in the county.

With Faulconer gone, Lewis, Libby and Keatts discussed what could become of local Republican Party. In the course of Faulconer’s administration, the GOP has bled local elected seats; now just one Republican remains on the San Diego City Council (Chris Cate), surrounded by a Democratic supermajority and mayor.

At the county level, as Republican Party Chairman Tony Kvaric prepares to exit, questions loom about where the party will go from here. What does the Republican Party look like without President Donald Trump looming over everything? Are they better positioned to reconstruct themselves as an alternative coalition to keep tabs on local government?


A quick note for fans: We at VOSD have kicked off our year-end fundraising campaign. We know a lot of folks listen to the show and make it a regular part of their week. If you enjoy our weekly analysis of local political affairs and news, please consider joining. Just $3 a month makes you a member — and you can support the show directly with this link: vosd.org/podcast2020

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at nate@vosd.org.

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