Open main menu

Mark Kersey (born c. 1976) is an American politician from the state of California. He is a member of the San Diego City Council representing District 5. He was elected in June 2012 and re-elected in June 2016. Kersey served as council president pro tem from 2016 to 2017. He was a Republican until 2019 when he left the party to become an independent politician.

Mark Kersey
Mark Kersey.jpg
Member of the
San Diego City Council
for the Fifth District
Assumed office
December 2012
MayorBob Filner
Kevin Faulconer
Preceded byCarl DeMaio
Personal details
Bornc. 1976
Political partyRepublican (until 2019)
Independent (2019-present)
Alma materNorthwestern University
University of California, Los Angeles
WebsiteCity Council District 5 website


Personal lifeEdit

Mark Kersey is a native of Columbus, Ohio and moved to the San Diego area in 2001.[1] Kersey attended Northwestern University and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is a telecommunications analyst with and formerly maintained his own consulting firm.[2] He lives in Black Mountain Ranch.[3]

Past candidacyEdit

Kersey unsuccessfully ran for the Solana Beach City Council in 2004.[4] Kersey's candidacy was supported by the Beach and Bluff Conservancy, a local homeowners group that supported building seawalls to protect their property. Their political action committee spent $18,800 in his behalf during his unsuccessful effort to win a seat on the Solana Beach City Council.[5] During the race for Solana Beach City Council, Kersey had to retract claims that several people had endorsed him after those individuals stated that they, in fact, had not given him their endorsement. This factored into the decision of the Solana Beach Firefighters Association to pull its endorsement of Kersey, as well.[6]

In 2008 he was the president of San Diego Young Republicans[7] and was elected to the San Diego County Republican Central Committee.[8]

San Diego City CouncilEdit

In 2011 Kersey announced he would run for San Diego City Council in the 2012 election. He was part of a coordinated three-person slate supported by the local Republican Party in an attempt to gain a Republican majority on the nine-member board.[9] He ran unopposed for the District 5 seat being vacated by retiring councilmember Carl DeMaio.[10] District 5 includes the neighborhoods of Black Mountain Ranch, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Encantada, Rancho Peñasquitos, Sabre Springs, San Pasqual Valley, Scripps Ranch, and Torrey Highlands.[11] He was elected in the June primary by receiving more than 50% of the vote.[12]

Kersey took office December 3, 2012. He chairs the Infrastructure Committee, is vice chair of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, and is a member of the Budget and Finance Committee and Charter Reform Committee.[13] Kersey is also the City's representative to the California League of Cities.[14] Kersey has been called San Diego's "open data and infrastructure guy."[15]

Kersey was elected to a second term in June 2016.[16] In December 2016, Kersey was appointed Council President Pro Tem.[17] He served in this position until December 2017, when he was succeeded by Barbara Bry.[18]

In April 2019, Kersey declared that he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent, stating that he would work toward bipartisan solutions to the City's issues during the remaining two years of his term.[19]


As chair of the Infrastructure Committee,[20] Kersey spearheaded a plan to address the City of San Diego's approximately $2 billion backlog of infrastructure projects.[21] The plan called for assessments of city infrastructure, streamlining of processes, gathering of neighborhood input and the creation of a long-term infrastructure investment plan.[22]

With Kersey's leadership, the city completed its first-ever comprehensive sidewalk assessment[23] as well as its first multi-year capital plan, which identified $1.7 billion in unfunded infrastructure projects over the next five years.[24]

Kersey also sponsored an ordinance to create a neighborhood input policy which was approved in July 2013. The policy formalized community input as part of the infrastructure prioritization process.

Open DataEdit

Kersey has pushed an open data initiative to "increase accountability and spur innovation" by putting the City's data online for the public. Kersey co-authored a draft open data policy and voted to create an ad-hoc committee to review and develop a formal policy to be adopted by the City of San Diego. The final policy was approved by the Council on December 16, 2014.[25]

Kersey also proposed creating a centralized communications point for San Diego City services, known as a 3-1-1 system. Kersey said 3-1-1 would be a number people could call if they have potholes on their street, broken traffic lights or spot water leaks in the city.[26]

Other actionsEdit

In September 2013, he sponsored an ordinance to streamline the permit process, meant to help reduce costs and the time associated with completing city construction projects.[22]

Committee AssignmentsEdit

  • Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Chair)
  • Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee
  • Rules Committee
  • Budget Review Committee

Source: Office of the City Clerk

State Senate candidacyEdit

In December 2017, Kersey formally announced his candidacy for the California State Senate to succeed fellow Republican Joel Anderson, who is barred by term limits from seeking another term.[27] In March 2018, he announced that he was ending his campaign due to family health issues.[28]

Electoral historyEdit

San Diego City Council District 5 election, 2016[29]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Kersey 23,858 71%
Democratic Frank Tsimboukakis 6,784 20%
Democratic Keith Mikas 3,157 9%
Total votes 33,799 100%
San Diego City Council District 5 election, 2012[29]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Kersey 24,869 100.00
Total votes 24,869 100


  1. ^ Davis, Rob (April 24, 2012). "The Inevitable Councilman: A Reader's Guide to Mark Kersey". Voice of San Diego. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "About Us". Kersey Research Strategies. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  3. ^ "Bernardo Fire Spreads to 800 Acres". Rancho Bernardo-4s Ranch Patch. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Heebner, Kellejian, Roberts apparent SB winners". North County Times. November 4, 2004. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ Frumin, Ben (November 7, 2004). "Solana Beach residents turned off by negative campaigning". North County Times. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Fuchs, Ben (October 7, 2004). "Candidate is in hot water over his list of supporters". San Diego Union-Tribune. pp. NC-2 NI-3. Retrieved March 20, 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ Maass, Dave (March 30, 2011). "Mark Kersey also weighing District 5 bid". San Diego CityBeat. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ Results from 2008 San Diego Republican Central Committee, Assembly District 74 election from the League of Women Voters
  9. ^ Gustafson, Craig (November 19, 2011). "Related: News» Republicans seek majority on San Diego council". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  10. ^ "A San Diego City Council Winner Before Votes Are Cast". KPBS Midday Edition. May 30, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  11. ^ "Communities - City of San Diego Official Website".
  12. ^ "County of San Diego, Presidential Primary Election, Tuesday, June 5, 2012" (PDF). San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  13. ^ "City Council Committee Meetings". City of San Diego. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  14. ^ "League of California Cities". Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  15. ^ "Councilman Kersey is San Diego's open data, infrastructure guy". KPBS. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  16. ^ Handy, Shannon (December 12, 2016). "New and re-elected San Diego city leaders take office". Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Garrick, David (December 20, 2016). "Republicans match Democrats in San Diego council committee posts". Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  18. ^ City News Service (December 13, 2017). "San Diego City Council Approves Committee Chairmanships For 2018". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Jennewein, Chris (April 29, 2019). "Another San Diego Republican Leaves The Party Amid Political 'Polarization'". Times of San Diego. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "Gloria creates panel to tackle infrastructure". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "What you need to know about the City's big streets plan". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Paradise in Progress: San Diego's Need for an Infrastructure Plan". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  23. ^ "City needs to spend $46M to repair sidewalks, study finds". Fox 5. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  24. ^ "Fixing City of San Diego Infrastructure to Cost $3.9 billion". Pomerado News. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  25. ^ "San Diego City Council Approves Open Data Policy". KPBS. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  26. ^ "Councilmember Proposes System to Make it Easier to Reach City". Fox 5. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  27. ^ Hargrove, Dorian; Jan. 16; 2018. "Councilman plans for Sacramento".
  28. ^ Garrick, David (March 5, 2018). "Mark Kersey won't run for state Senate, citing family health issues". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Election History - Council District 5" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved January 12, 2013.

External linksEdit