Carey Davis+Wendy McCammack

Mayoral candidates Carey Davis, left, and Wendy McCammack take part in the first mayoral debate Tuesday at the San Bernardino City Council Chambers at City Hall. LaFonzo Carter — Staff Photographer

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/08/14, 12:14 AM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The two candidates for mayor agreed on a few things Tuesday, most notably this: At a critical juncture for the city, the first forum of the general election season was a valuable opportunity for voters to see significant contrasts between the direction each would take the city.

In a two-hour forum at City Hall, hosted by the League of Women Voters, both Carey Davis and Wendy McCammack tried to tie their opponent to what they said were recent failures in the city and to convince a packed house and larger audience watching on Channel 3 that they had what it would take to turn the city around.

“If you want the same as the last eight years, vote for my opponent,” McCammack said in her opening statement, and went on to say Davis was “hand-picked” by current Mayor Pat Morris.

McCammack, who represented the city’s 7th Ward as a councilwoman for 13 years, said she had the experience to know what had gone wrong because she had been in the minority fighting against it.

“An new broom knows how to sweep,” she said. “An old broom knows where the dirt is.”

But McCammack’s approach got her recalled in November “by a substantial margin” from the ward that knows her best, Davis said in his own opening statement.

“(McCammack supported) policies that moved San Bernardino into bankruptcy, policies that will take a long time to address and solve,” Davis said. “…It’s been said we need experience to hit the ground running. The problem is (with McCammack) we would hit the ground running backward.”

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