By Tony Perry
February 12, 2014, 3:25 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — As Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer prepares to take power at City Hall, some are wondering what his easy victory over Democratic Councilman David Alvarez means for the statewide GOP.

Faulconer beat Alvarez 55% to 45%.

“Faulconer overnight goes from minority member of the City Council to the highest ranked and highest profile Republican in the state,” said Carl Luna, a political science professor at San Diego Mesa College.

Allan Hoffenblum, a former GOP strategist who now publishes the nonpartisan California Target Book, said Faulconer’s victory shows that Republicans can still win big races, “if they have the right candidate.” He noted Faulconer campaigned as a fiscal conservative who is moderate on social issues, including supporting gay marriage and abortion rights.

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