Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 – 12:00 am

So perhaps Democrats aren’t quite as omnipotent in California politics as they – and almost everyone else – assumed.

Republican Kevin Faulconer blew away three Democratic rivals in the San Diego mayoral race this week, and Nathan Fletcher, the Republican-turned-Democrat that most of the party’s leaders had endorsed, ran a rather miserable third.

Faulconer is now the favorite to capture the top position in the state’s second largest city in a runoff early next year with fellow City Councilman David Alvarez, who was supported by San Diego’s more liberal Democratic groups.

It’s not a slam dunk by any means, but disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner sullied the local Democratic brand and the fragmentation of local Democrats and their post-election blame game give Faulconer a decided edge going into the runoff campaign.

Meanwhile, 125 miles north of San Diego, in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, an Assembly district with a 2-1 Democratic voter registration advantage may be on the verge of electing a Republican in a low-turnout special election.

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