Kevin Faulconer

San Diego mayoral candidate Councilman Kevin Faulconer speaks to his supporters in the final hours before the polls closed Tuesday. From the start of counting, Faulconer held a sizable lead over rival Councilman David Alvarez. (Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press / February 11, 2014)

SAN DIEGO - As he held a commanding lead, Republican Councilman Kevin Faulconer told cheering supporters Tuesday night that he "can't wait to be the next mayor of this fabulous and great city."

Faulconer, 47, held a 55% to 44% lead over Councilman David Alvarez, 33, a Democrat, with more than 90% of the vote counted.

He also allowed himself a not-so-veiled reference to the now-passed era of Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned after months of a chaotic management style at City Hall followed by multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

"This city has gone through a lot in the last year, but we knew that as San Diegans we were better than that," Faulconer said.

The winner will serve the final 33 months of Filner's term after being sworn in March 3.

Faulconer also praised Acting Mayor Todd Gloria, a Democrat who endorsed Alvarez, for "getting this city back on track"  after taking over when Filner resigned Aug. 31.

Filner, who became mayor after 20 years in Congress, was the first Democratic mayor since 1992.

"America's eighth largest city is back in Republican hands," tweeted Republican leader Tony Krvaric as Faulconer held a lead.


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