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  How to Be a Republican Mayor
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Jan 03, 2016 10:23am
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AuthorThe Atlantic
News DateSunday, January 3, 2016 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionSan Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is currently the great urban hope of the Republican Party—thanks to Bob Filner’s spectacular failure.

Filner resigned as San Diego’s mayor after less than a year in office and after more than a dozen women had accused him of sexual assault, harassment, or other inappropriate behavior. In the special election that followed, Faulconer, a middle-aged white Republican, soundly defeated his young Latino Democratic opponent—likely in part because Faulconer’s inoffensive, no-frills manner seemed like the perfect antidote for a city poisoned by a national scandal.

But according to Faulconer, his ascension is no historical accident. He believes his campaign strategy could become a roadmap for Republicans in urban areas. First, Faulconer opened his campaign headquarters in an empty storefront in San Diego’s historically black neighborhood. Then, when he visited Latino groups, he spoke in Spanish. He promised the city’s underserved communities that he cared as much about them as anyone else. “I went to neighborhoods that Republicans had traditionally surrendered and Democrats had ignored,” Faulconer said. “I said: ‘Look my job is to provide opportunity. My job is to ensure we’re providing equal access to services. And we’re going to do things differently.’”

Faulconer thinks Republicans can eventually start to win in urban areas if they engage with the poor and with communities of color. Others do, too. The Republican National Committee gave Faulconer a prime speaking slot at its winter meeting after attributing the mayor’s victory to his outreach efforts. It’s easy to understand the attraction. Without Faulconer, none of the country’s ten largest cities would have a GOP mayor.
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