Frontrunners among the first to hit the polls - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Frontrunners among the first to hit the polls

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    San Diego Special Election

    A special election for the city of San Diego will take place on February 11, 2014. Check out related stories, videos and links on CBS 8's resource page. 
    A special election for the city of San Diego will take place on February 11, 2014. Check out related stories, videos and links on CBS 8's resource page. 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The big-name frontrunners in the mayor's race were among the first to get out the vote Tuesday. CBS News 8 joined the candidates as they headed to their polling places to cast their ballots.

Mike Aguirre

Heading in to the polls Tuesday morning, the 64-year-old progressive Democrat is the decided underdog of the four primary mayoral candidates, and continues to champion his "for the people" persona.

"I'm quite proud of what I've done. I've done what I could with what I have when I could, and I fought for the people of San Diego, and hopefully they will have received the message," Aguirre said.

The consumer fraud lawyer, who gained notoriety for his combative style during his one term as city attorney, worked hard during his campaign to try to redeem his image, passionately pushing for pension reform and improved city infrastructure. But he also says he will get behind whomever the voters ultimately choose.

"We will cleanse what has happened before through this vote and build a better San Diego," he said.

David Alvarez

The 33-year-old councilman voted just before 8 a.m., walking with his wife and daughter about a block from their home in Logan Heights to their polling place at Calvary Baptist Church. Alvarez grew up in Barrio Logan.

"It's quite an honor to come from the city I love. I grew up here, my parents sacrificed so much," he said.

After casting his vote, Alvarez, who has the backing of the Democratic Party, put on his "I Voted" sticker, and now the waiting game continues.

"We always knew it was going to be a race for second. The Republican candidate lined up all the support and we went out and talk to voters, and I think they wanted a genuine leader, especially after what we've been through. They want someone who's trustworthy, who's got an ability to bring people together to achieve compromise, and also stand up for the issues that are important and the values that are important to San Diegans," Alvarez said.

Kevin Faulconer

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer cast his vote in an election, which has had the 46-year-old Republican as the frontrunner from the very beginning of the short, but robust race to replace former mayor Bob Filner.

"I feel great because of all the work that our campaign has been doing and all the volunteers have given us, and just a great sense of momentum. We've been looking forward to this day for a number of weeks now," he said. "You can't take anything for granted. We've known this was going to be a multiple-step process since the very beginning."

Nathan Fletcher

We caught up with Nathan Fletcher bright and early on Tuesday. Fletcher was in Point Loma waving signs with supporters, greeting morning commuters.

The 36-year-old Democrat believes the path he's taken to get to this point makes him the best choice to be San Diego's next mayor.

"I think the experience I bring, between being a Marine and served in combat and the experience in the state assembly where we dealt with $400 billion budgets and passed Chelsea's Law and even the experience of the last year, working at Qualcomm, learning how a large organization runs, I think prepare me best to move into the mayor's office and get the job done," he said.

Fletcher and his wife also spent the morning voting in their University City neighborhood. He knows he has no chance to win the election outright Tuesday, so the goal is to be one of the top two vote getters and move into a runoff. And with the backing of police, lifeguards and fire fighters, he's confident he has the support to get there.

"You know, we feel good. I mean, despite being vastly outspent and the tremendous amount of money that's come in from the right wing groups in opposition to us, we continue to hold strong. And elections are tough, but so am I," he said.

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