Will the election of Republican Kevin Faulconer as mayor of San Diego help the sagging fortunes of the GOP statewide?
Depends on who is talking.
"This was a crucial step forward in our continuing efforts to rebuild the Republican Party from the ground up," said Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party.
Republican banker Neel Kashkari, who would like to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, said the Faulconer victory "confirms that Republicans can win in California by promoting positive economic ideas that unite people."
Republican consultant John Kern, former chief of staff to San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy, is not buying that the Faulconer win over Democrat David Alvarez has larger significance outside the city limits.
"Most of the time, these comments about 'end/beginning of an era,' or 'the great lessons' are just people blowing wind," Kern said. "Sometimes an election is just an election."
Faulconer, 47, a two-term City Council member, is set to be sworn in March 3 to serve the remaining 33 months of the term of Democrat Bob Filner, who resigned Aug. 30 amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Although a Republican will be mayor, the City Council is controlled by Democrats, including Alvarez, in his first term representing a blue-collar district.
Before Tuesday's election, Democrats held five of nine seats on the council. Once Faulconer becomes mayor and the council appoints an interim council member for his beachfront district, that could change to six of nine if a Democrat is named.
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