La prensa

Gloria Supporters Send Out Pro-Republican Mailer to Game Election

Todd Gloria
Author: La Prensa
Created: 13 February, 2024
4 min read

By Alberto Garcia
Investigative Reporter

Political flyers hitting mailboxes this week ask Republicans to vote for Donald Trump for President, former baseball player Steve Garvey for US Senator, and Jane Glasson for San Diego Mayor, but the pieces were sent out by a pro-Todd Gloria political action committee seemingly trying to game who ends up in the General Election against the current Mayor.

New San Diego, a political group headed by San Diego lawyer Gil Cabrera, was set up in 2021 after Gloria became Mayor. Cabrera was appointed by Gloria to serve on the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. 

The group has raised money from Democrats, labor unions, and developers with interests before the City and is now spending money to promote a little-known Republican for Mayor to drive votes away from another challenger Gloria’s team may think is more dangerous to his re-election: San Diego Police officer Larry Turner.

The mail piece, titled “Team MAGA”, features Trump, Garvey, and Glasson, and highlights Glasson as “the only Republican for San Diego Mayor.”

New San Diego mailerNew San Diego mailer back

New San Diego reported spending $89,580.84 on a “direct mailer, including costs of polling” benefiting Glasson on February 9th.

Glasson is the only Republican in the field of seven candidates running for Mayor but she has raised no money for her campaign and is not even endorsed by her own Party.

Turner, a former US Marine officer and now a San Diego Police officer, is registered as an independent but has been drawing support among Republicans and Independent voters.

Political observers agree that the pro-Gloria political action committee clearly sees Turner as a bigger threat based on this mailer and their expenditure on a private investigator to look into Turner.

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New San Diego reported spending $5,000 late last year to look into Turner's residency in San Diego. The group claims Turner did not meet the City's requirement to be a registered voter in the City at least 30 days before filing to run for office.

This week, a lawsuit was filed by local attorney Bob Ottilie challenging Turner's candidacy based on this residency. 

Turner registered to vote at an East Village condo last year while his wife and young children lived in their family home in El Cajon. Turner then changed his registration to an Ocean Beach address in late November, but the lawsuit claims Turner did not meet the legal requirements of residency when he filed to run for Mayor in early December.

The candidates for Mayor filed their latest fundraising report for the period ending January 20th.

In their recent filings, Gloria reported having $346,907 on hand, Turner reported having $22,109, and Glasson did not report raising any money for her campaign.

New San Diego reported raising over $402,00 in 2023 and ended the year with $300,000 in the bank. Its next report is not due until July for the period covering January to June.

Contributors last year included $20,000 from Chelsea Development, which is part of the development group Gloria picked for the rebuilding of the Sports Arena complex; $30,000 from a PAC funded by Airbnb that pushed for more short-term rentals in San Diego; $10,000 from Lennar Corp., one of the largest home builders in the US; $35,000 from Sycuan; $49,000 from Badiee Development that builds warehouses in Otay Mesa; $10,000 from Manpower San Diego staffing company; and $20,000 from labor unions.

All of those companies are restricted from donating directly to Todd Gloria’s re-election campaign which can only accept contributions from individuals and a maximum contribution limit of $1,350 per election.

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Gloria is running for re-election for a second term on the March 5th Primary Election ballot. In addition to Glasson and Turner, the other candidates in the race are Genevieve Jones-Wright, Athena Johnson, Thomas Nguyen, and Dan Smiechowski.

The two candidates who received the most votes will continue to the General Election in November. Under the City’s election laws, no candidate can win the election in the primary election regardless of how many votes they may receive.

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