Kevin Lee Faulconer (born January 24, 1967) is an American politician serving as the 36th mayor of San Diego, California. He was elected in a special election in February 2014, following the resignation of Bob Filner, and was sworn in as mayor on March 3, 2014. On June 7, 2016, he won election to a full term. Faulconer was not eligible to run in the 2020 mayoral election due to term limits.
|36th Mayor of San Diego|
|Assumed office |
March 3, 2014
|Preceded by||Todd Gloria (acting)|
|Succeeded by||Todd Gloria (elect)|
|Member of the San Diego City Council|
from the 2nd district
January 10, 2006 – March 3, 2014
|Preceded by||Michael Zucchet|
|Succeeded by||Ed Harris|
Kevin Lee Faulconer
January 24, 1967
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Education||San Diego State University (BA)|
Prior to his election as mayor, Faulconer served as a San Diego City Council member representing City Council District 2. He served on the council from January 2006 to March 2014, including two years as the council president pro tem, the number two leadership position on the council. He is a Republican, although local government positions are officially nonpartisan per California state law. With Faulconer as mayor, San Diego became the largest city in the United States with a Republican mayor.
Life and careerEdit
Faulconer was born in San Jose, California and grew up in Oxnard, where he learned to speak Spanish in grade school. Graduating from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1990, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and served one year as student body president of Associated Students. He and his wife Katherine, a small business owner, live in Point Loma with their two children. Before running for office he was an executive with the public relations firm NCG Porter Novelli and volunteered on the Mission Bay Park Committee.
San Diego City CouncilEdit
Faulconer ran in the 2002 city council election for district 2 but lost to Michael Zucchet in a close-fought election. After Zucchet resigned in 2005, a special election was held that November. There were 17 candidates and none got a majority, so a runoff was held on January 10, 2006, between the two top vote-getters, Faulconer and Lorena Gonzalez. Faulconer won the runoff with 51.5% of the vote.
Faulconer was elected to a full term in June 2006 and re-elected in June 2010; in both cases he won an outright majority in the primary and so did not have to run in the November general election. He was ineligible to run for re-election in 2014 per city term limits.
Although Faulconer was once a supporter of alcohol being allowed on public beaches in San Diego (his 2006 opponent Gonzalez supported a limited ban), he changed his opinion after winning election to the city council. Following an alcohol-fueled riot at Pacific Beach in 2007, he persuaded the city council to pass a trial one-year ban on alcohol at the beaches; the next year the ban was made permanent by a citywide vote. The ban has not been challenged since, with the community generally approving of cleaner beaches and fewer emergency calls, and lifeguards and police saying it has made their jobs easier. However, the long-term economic impact, claimed by one individual to be a 160,000 person reduction in attendance on holiday weekends and a 50% drop in revenue for beach businesses, has not been studied.
In the fall of 2006, over 30 bars and restaurants in Pacific Beach agreed with one another to limit the offering of discounts on alcohol drinks. Faulconer supported the price-fixing agreement and spoke at the press conference announcing the agreement.
He campaigned against a proposed sales tax increase in 2010. Other issues he promoted include the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan and more housing services for the homeless. He pushed for several years for an ordinance limiting the parking of oversize vehicles on the streets; the ordinance finally passed the city council in July 2013.
Faulconer was chair of the council's Audit Committee, which is charged with clearing out an audit backlog and restoring the city's credit rating. He was vice chair of the Rules and Economic Development Committee and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Mayor of San DiegoEdit
In September 2013 Faulconer entered the special mayoral election that resulted from the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner. He was endorsed by the local Republican Party and by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, now president of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He campaigned both in English and Spanish.
In the election held November 19, 2013 Faulconer received 43.6 percent of the vote and advanced to a runoff election against fellow city councilmember David Alvarez (who had received 25.6 percent of the vote) on February 11, 2014. In the runoff, Faulconer was endorsed by former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, a Democratic mayoral candidate who had placed fourth in the first round of the election. Faulconer was elected mayor with 54.5 percent of the vote in the runoff. He was sworn in on March 3, 2014.
In 2015, Faulconer declared his intention to run for a full term in 2016. His opponents in the election were former state assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and former San Diego City Council member Ed Harris. Faulconer won re-election in the June 7, 2016 primary by garnering 58.2 percent of the vote.
Faulconer had been urged by state Republican leaders to run for governor in 2018, and polls showed him as the leading Republican candidate. Faulconer consistently said he would not run, and in June 2017 confirmed it, saying his top priority is finishing out his term as mayor.
In August 2014, Faulconer vetoed a measure passed by the City Council which would incrementally increase the minimum wage in San Diego to $11.50 per hour from the $9.00 statewide minimum. The Council overrode his veto by a vote of 6 to 2. However, implementation of the measure was delayed by a successful signature drive led by business groups, forcing a public referendum before the measure could go into effect. On June 7, 2016, the ballot measure passed with a 63.8 percent majority vote, allowing the measure to go into effect.
San Diego ChargersEdit
A major issue during his first term was a bid by the San Diego Chargers to move to the Los Angeles area. Faulconer campaigned to keep the Chargers in San Diego and proposed that the city build a new stadium, financed in part by the city and county governments. Faulconer later endorsed a ballot measure sponsored by the Chargers that would raise the hotel tax to pay for a stadium. The ballot measure failed with only 43 percent of the vote in favor. In January 2017, the Chargers announced that they would be relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Convention center expansionEdit
In 2017, Faulconer put forth a measure that would fund the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center by increasing the hotel tax, but the City Council declined to call for a special election. In 2018, Faulconer supported a citizen's initiative that would accomplish the same thing as his original measure. The measure qualified, but too late to be included on the 2018 ballot. In April 2019, the City Council approved a proposal by Faulconer to move the election from the November 2020 general election to the March 2020 primary election by a vote of 5–4. The ballot measure, titled Measure C, got 65% of the vote in the March election, just short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass per the language of the measure. However, the City Council amended the language certifying the election to not say it needed a two-thirds majority. This allowed litigation to continue which could potentially lower the threshold to pass from two-thirds to a simple majority.
Housing and homelessnessEdit
Faulconer has been an outspoken opponent of the "Not In My Back Yard" mentality (also known as NIMBYism). He has called for scrapping restrictions on housing development, such as building-height limits near public transit and parking requirements, as well as various restrictions on dense housing (including affordable housing). He has called for streamlining of the approvals process. Faulconer said these reforms were needed to combat San Diego's housing crisis, reduce homelessness and improve the environment.
In both his 2018 and 2019 State of the City addresses, Faulconer vowed to reduce the growing number of people who are street homeless in San Diego. Faulconer's efforts included a 40 percent increase in funding from 2018 to 2019, the opening of shelter tents, the creation of safe parking spots, a storage center of the homeless, and successful advocacy for more funding from the State.
Just a month before the end of his term as mayor, Faulconer put a package of affordable housing proposals before the San Diego City Council called Complete Communities. The package incentivizes building to reduce homelessness, while banning the usage of said buildings for short-term rentals like Airbnb. It also creates an "ongoing funding stream" for public transportation via fees on more suburban developers, and prioritizes improvements in parks in low-income areas. The City Council approved Faulconer's Complete Communities plan on November 9, 2020.
Climate action planEdit
In 2014, Mayor Faulconer released San Diego's first Climate Action Plan. The plan outlined Faulconer's proposed strategy for the city to meet State goals for the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, Faulconer proposed pursuing a City-run community choice aggregation program to meet the plan's goal of purchasing 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. By September 2019, Faulconer had convinced four other nearby cities (Encinitas, La Mesa, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista) to join San Diego's CCA through a joint powers authority.
Faulconer was mayor during the COVID-19 pandemic in California. To enforce social distancing, Mayor Faulconer issued an executive order on March 16 closing all bars and nightclubs and only allowing takeout from restaurants. This was followed on March 23 with an order closing all city-owned beaches, parks, and trails. Faulconer also announced that the San Diego Convention Center would be opened as a shelter to protect the homeless from the pandemic, and that 240 new shelter beds would be added to Golden Hall. In response to an estimated $250 million reduction in revenue associated with the outbreak, Faulconer proposed major budget cuts, including the elimination of 354 jobs. On April 29, 2020, Faulconer announced San Diego would close certain streets in San Diego to encourage safe cycling and walking while maintaining social distancing.  Faulconer also responded to Governor Gavin Newsom's statewide beach closure, stating that it is "sending the wrong message" as Faulconer allowed beaches in San Diego to reopen on April 24, 2020. 
Though a fiscally conservative Republican, Faulconer holds many socially liberal positions. Faulconer supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who live in the United States. He also supports same-sex marriage. In 2014, he participated in and supported LGBTQ Pride Month. In 2019, the mayor met with San Diego community leaders to voice support and encourage the US Congress to vote for the Equality Act to extend the Civil Rights Act to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As a part of his previously mentioned effort to address homelessness, Faulconer announced he was working with local faith leaders to provide shelter to LGBTQ homeless youth.
Mayor Faulconer has described himself as pro-choice on the issue of abortion. Responding to protests against anti-abortion legislation, Faulconer made a statement saying that he would not restrict abortion rights in San Diego and would oppose movements to restrict abortion in California.
|2002 San Diego City Council district 2 election|
|Woody Guthrie Deck||648||2.2|
|2005–2006 San Diego City Council district 2 special election|
|James Joaquin Morrison||441||0.95|
|Robert E. Lee||250||0.54|
|Linda Susan Finley||202||0.44|
|Kevin Faulconer (incumbent)||18,097||71.81|
|Kevin Faulconer (incumbent)||17,089||61.52|
|2013–14 San Diego mayoral special election|
|S. "Simon" Moghadam||748||0.31|
|Michael A. Kemmer||612||0.25|
|Tobiah L. Pettus||344||0.14|
|Kevin Faulconer (incumbent)||181,147||57.16|
- Rowe, Peter. "Profile: Kevin Faulconer, eager to lead". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Special election to replace Filner set for November 19". KFMB-TV. August 28, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer expected to be sworn in March 3". CBS-8. February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Steele, Jeanette (January 14, 2006), "City Council newcomer outlines wide-ranging agenda", San Diego Union Tribune, p. B4
- La Jolla Light Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, lajollalight.com, December 14, 2010.
- "Candidate bio: Kevin Faulconer". San Diego Union Tribune. October 10, 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- "Not The Loudest Guy In The Room", inewsource, October 21, 2013
- "How to Be a Republican Mayor". The Atlantic. January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
- City Council biography page
- Trageser, Claire. "Kevin Faulconer's Run Down The Middle". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- Trageser, Claire. "'Not The Loudest Guy In The Room'". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- San Diego Union-Tribune, November 9, 2005
- 10 News, November 9, 2005
- San Diego County election results, co.san-diego.ca.us, January 2006.
- Primary election results June 2006
- Primary election results June 2010
- Dillon, Liam (September 12, 2013). "How Kevin Faulconer Banned Booze at the Beach". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Schwab, Dave (September 2013). "A look at the beach booze ban six years later". San Diego Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Pacific Beach Business Wave (Fall 2006). "Councilmember Faulconer, Chief Lansdowne, and business community support Community Covenant" (Volume 3, Issue 5). Cite journal requires
- De La Rosa, Christian (July 8, 2013). "City Council passes oversized vehicle restrictions". Fox 5 San Diego. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "City Council Committee Meetings". City of San Diego. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
- "Faulconer jumps into race for mayor: Aguirre expected to formally announce bid". ABC 10 News. September 4, 2013. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
- Weisberg, Lori (October 29, 2013). "Cal Atty Gen backs Fletcher for mayor". San Diego Union. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- Gustafson, Craig (February 11, 2014). "Faulconer wins mayor's race". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Willon, Phil (February 11, 2016). "Q&A San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer provides a glimmer of hope for a Republican revival in California". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
- "San Diego mayor race: Alvarez, Faulconer expected to meet in runoff". ABC 10 News. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- August, J. W. (October 30, 2010). "Kevin Faulconer campaign commercial uses face familiar to San Diegans". ABC 10 News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Garrick, David (October 26, 2015). "Democrat challenging Faulconer's re-election". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Garrick, David (January 25, 2016). "Saldana challenging Faulconer for re-election". The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "Democrat Ed Harris Enters San Diego Mayor's Race". KPBS. March 1, 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Garrick, David (June 8, 2016). "Faulconer re-elected; Bry, Ellis in council runoff". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Cadelago, Christopher (June 30, 2017). "California's top Republican won't be running for governor". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Perry, Tony (August 19, 2014). "San Diego City Council overrides mayor's veto of minimum-wage hike". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Enough Signatures Gathered To Force San Diego Minimum Wage Hike To Ballot". KPBS. October 16, 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "City of San Diego Ballot Measures 2010-2019" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "Mayor offers $350M of public funding for new Chargers stadium". Fox 5 San Diego. August 10, 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Garrick, David (October 3, 2016). "Faulconer endorses Chargers stadium measure". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- Fenno, Sam Farmer, Nathan; Fenno, Nathan (January 12, 2017). "Double-teamed: Chargers make move to Los Angeles official". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- "Comic-Con to remain in San Diego through 2021". fox5sandiego.com. 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
- Weisberg, Lori (September 20, 2018). "Initiative to expand convention center has enough signatures to qualify for ballot — but not in 2018". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Mapp, Lauren J. (April 16, 2019). "City Council Votes to Put Convention Center Expansion on 2020 Primary Ballot". Times of San Diego. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Halverstadt, Lisa; Keatts, Andrew; Marx, Jesse (April 8, 2020). "Morning Report: Cities Try to Save Housing Development". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Avitabile, Rafael (January 15, 2019). "Mayor Focuses on Homelessness in 2019 State of the City Address". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- "Lack of middle-income housing construction". KGTV. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Finn, Pat. "Roundtable: San Diego's New YIMBY Mayor". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Garrick, David (January 12, 2018). "Mayor vows to fight homelessness, fill police vacancies, clean up San Diego". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Halverstadt, Lisa (January 9, 2019). "The Spike in City Spending on Homelessness Aid Is Clear, but the Results Are Murkier". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- kpbs - "With 'Complete Communities,' Faulconer Pushes One Final Affordable Housing Plan"
- Times of San Diego - "Council Passes Faulconer's 'Complete Communities' Housing and Transit Plan"
- Mento, Tarryn (September 30, 2014). "San Diego Mayor Releases Climate Action Plan". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Bowen, Andrew (October 25, 2018). "San Diego Mayor Faulconer Announces Support For Alternative Energy Program". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Nikolewski, Rob (August 23, 2019). "Carlsbad and Encinitas taking different routes on community choice energy". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- Bowen, Andrew (September 10, 2019). "County Supervisors Move Toward 'Community Choice' Energy Purchase Program". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Self, Zac (March 17, 2020). "San Diego Mayor signs executive order to close all bars, nightclubs". KGTV ABC 10 News. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- City News Service (March 24, 2020). "Mayor Faulconer Closes All City Beaches, Parks and Trails". KPBS Public Media. City News. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Halverstadt, Lisa (March 23, 2020). "Convention Center Will Transform From Economic Powerhouse to Homeless Refuge". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- City News Service (April 15, 2020). "San Diego Proposes Major Budget Cuts To Offset COVID-19 Revenue Losses". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "San Diego will partially close some streets to encourage safe walking, cycling". fox5sandiego.com. 2020-04-29. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
- "Mayor Faulconer Says Closing All California Beaches 'Sends the Wrong Message'". Times of San Diego. 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
- Mehta, Seema; Willon, Phil (June 29, 2017). "Can California's fractured GOP get it together to nominate a candidate for governor?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- "Why Kevin Faulconer Changed on Same-Sex Marriage". Voice of San Diego. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- "Mayor Faulconer Hoists Rainbow Pride Flags Above Gaslamp Quarter and Kicks Off Pride Month | Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer | City of San Diego Official Website". www.sandiego.gov. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- Andrew Johnson. "Community Leaders Show Support for Equality Act Days Before San Diego Pride". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- "Mayor Faulconer asks faith leaders to help homeless LGBTQ". KFMB. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- Hoffman, Matt. "San Diego Homeless Shelter Network Looks To Help LGBTQ Youth". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- "This pro-choice, Mexico-embracing mayor could be California GOP's future - SFChronicle.com". www.sfchronicle.com. 2019-09-05. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- Dillon, Liam (2016-01-03). "How To Be a Republican Mayor". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
- Mencken, Walter; May 31; 2019. "In wake of #StopTheBans protests, Kevin Faulconer pledges support for abortion rights in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri". www.sandiegoreader.com. Retrieved 2019-09-06.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- "Election History - Council District 2" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO PRIMARY ELECTION Tuesday, June 6, 2006 Official Results (San Diego Portion Only)" (PDF). San Diego County. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO PRIMARY ELECTION Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Official Results (San Diego Portion Only)" (PDF). San Diego County. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "CITY OF SAN DIEGO SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Official Results" (PDF). San Diego County. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO SPECIAL CONSOLIDATED ELECTION Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Official Results" (PDF). San Diego County. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Official Results (San Diego Portion Only)" (PDF). San Diego County. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- Media related to Kevin Faulconer at Wikimedia Commons
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- "America’s 11 Most Interesting Mayors" from Politico magazine
| Mayor of San Diego