Just a year ago, Councilman David Alvarez was a relative unknown.
The soft-spoken San Diego native regularly showed up at events and press conferences without staffers, and usually left without facing a single reporter.
As a councilman, he struggled to push forward even a modest ordinance to create a foreclosure registry amid a tense relationship with former Mayor Jerry Sanders. (It ultimately prevailed.)
But the mayoral race, where he was buoyed by his own compelling personal narrative and millions of dollars from labor groups, has catapulted him to a contender getting attention from the New York Times and President Barack Obama.
Neither was enough to propel him into the mayor’s office. Republican challenger Kevin Faulconer decisively defeated Alvarez Tuesday.
But the groundswell that emerged to support his candidacy – high-profile national Democrats parachuted in for campaign appearances, and more than 600 volunteers gathered the Saturday before the election walking door to door to rally voters on his behalf – marks a sudden transformation in Alvarez’s nascent political career.
It’s a reality even Alvarez himself likely couldn’t have imagined just months ago.
President Barack Obama weighed in on the San Diego mayor's race Saturday, endorsing fellow Democrat David Alvarez. "As a native San Diegan, David Alvarez has been a fierce advocate for his city, and on the Council, has led efforts to build a strong middle class, put neighborhoods first and expand opportunities for kids in and out of school," Obama said in a statement.Read More
Alvarez has been going pretty much non-stop since he entered the race for mayor. His challenge is a big one: Before he can even think about winning, he has to get San Diegans outside of his district just to know who he is. David Alvarez grew up in Barrio Logan. Alvarez is the son of a janitor and a fast-food worker, both immigrants from the Jalisco region of Mexico. He was the youngest of six kids, five brothers and one sister. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school.Read More
City Councilman David Alvarez, a mayoral candidate, said he believes the department has racially profiled recently, too. He cited the lawsuit over the 2010 City Heights traffic stop during a debate in the fall. Alvarez wants to see the department take profiling issues more seriously.Read More