Closer look at hotly contested city council race - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Closer look at hotly contested city council race

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The midterm election is one week away and CBS News 8 is taking a closer look at the San Diego City Council Race in District 6, where a newcomer is taking on an opponent who's no stranger to local politics.

Even though the San Diego City Council is technically non-partisan, the outcome of this race could either secure or eliminate the current veto-proof majority democrats now hold. And with only seven days to go, the polls show the race for District 6 is a statistical dead heat.

For 38-year-old democrat Carol Kim, a mother of two who works for an education non-profit, running for the district 6 council seat is her first foray into politics.

"I think it is important to have someone who is going to be a voice for the district and not for the interests that already exist downtown,” Kim explained.

Her opponent, 31-year-old republican Chris Cate, is no stranger to city politics. The native San Diegan and former small business owner is vice president of the San Diego Taxpayers Association.

"I'm someone who wants to go to City Hall and make sure that the services being provided are done so in the most cost effective and efficient way possible,” Cate said.

Despite their opposing political affiliations, both candidates share the same top priorities, among them, public safety, fixing streets and sidewalks and helping local small business owners and entrepreneurs.

“I really want to see us support our small businesses better. I'm hoping to cut down on some of the bureaucracy and red tape we have at city hall,” said Kim.

“Recruiting and retaining police officers, and investing in infrastructure and making sure we have good jobs in our district in San Diego,” Cate noted.

And what sets them apart?

"It's experience. My experience in dealing with City Hall, understanding how the budgets works,” said Cate.

"The fact of the matter is, I actually have professional experience in creating plans,” Kim said.

As for the 'balance of power' shift on the council that this race could create:

"For me, it's not about partisanship, it is about making sure that we are doing our best to serve the community as well as we can,” Kim added.

“Being able to work with everyone. There is no Republican or Democratic way to fill a pothole, but there is a very efficient way and that is what we are about,” Cate said.

Both campaigns combined have poured an estimated $1.5 million into this election. With Chris Cate's camp outspending Carol Kim's campaign by a nearly four to one ratio.

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