Sprint to the finish for San Diego's mayoral candidates - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Sprint to the finish for San Diego's mayoral candidates

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - With the start of the new year comes the race to the finish line for two candidates who are battling next month to become San Diego's newest mayor.

CBS News 8 caught up with David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer, whose battle is getting off to a flying start, focusing on reforming City Hall and revitalizing neighborhoods.

It's a six-week sprint for councilmen Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez in a February 11 special runoff election to become San Diego's 36th mayor.

Their low key styles put them in the political spotlight to erase the black eye caused by ex-mayor Bob Filner's sexual harassment scandal, which drove him out of City Hall.

"I've always been the underdog, and I perform well in that situation. I'm continuing to do that," Alvarez said.

"I'm looking forward to the final weeks of the campaign. We're going to be going out and knocking on thousands of doors every single with a very positive and upbeat message about getting our city back on track," Faulconer said.

Alvarez's path to a win starts with repairing a divided Democratic party and a fractured labor community. Leaders in both heavily supported former assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the primary. The Barrio Logan resident is confident he'll get the support he needs.

"Congressman Scott Peters, Congressman Juan Vargas… are now on board, Susan Davis, our congresswoman -- so everyone is really coming together and we've spent these last couple of weeks talking and creating these bonds and relationships with these folks," Alvarez said.

As far as Faulconer is concerned, the 46-year-old Republican from Point Loma says he will try to continue to grow a strong and diverse support base, campaigning on his eight years of experience which got him 43 percent of the vote in November.

"Bringing that experience to ensure that we continue the reforms necessary at City Hall, to cut government waste, to save those dollars so we can reinvest them in our parks, our streets, our neighborhoods," he said.

Both men are optimistic about their chances, and know they are going to have to re-double their efforts with voters to come out on top. The race is on and the spirits are high.

"We've been talking to voters and attending community events. People have seen me, it's just they're going to see a lot more of us in the coming weeks," Alvarez said.

"We've been out knocking on doors the last couple of weeks, and we're going to continue that and we're going to grow that," Faulconer said.

As far as endorsements, Kevin Faulconer has just picked up one from the life science association Biocom.

Alvarez says he will reveal several major supporters in the days ahead.

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