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1971 San Diego mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1971 San Diego mayoral election
Flag of San Diego, California.svg

← 1967 November 2, 1971 (1971-11-02) 1975 →
Mayor Wilson.jpg
City Attorney Butler.jpg
Nominee Pete Wilson Ed Butler
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 116,003 71,921
Percentage 61.7% 38.3%

Mayor before election

Frank Curran

Elected Mayor

Pete Wilson

The 1971 San Diego mayoral election was held on November 2, 1971 to elect the mayor for San Diego. Incumbent Frank Curran stood for reelection for a third term. California State Assembly member Pete Wilson and former San Diego City Attorney Ed Butler received the most votes in the primary and advanced to the runoff. Wilson was then elected mayor with a majority of the votes.



In October 1970, prior to the beginning of the campaign, incumbent Mayor Frank Curran and several other City officials were indicted for allegedly taking bribes from the Yellow Cab Company. He was acquitted on all charges prior to the election.[4] Despite the controversy, Curran chose to run for reelection to a third term, hoping that reelection would serve as a public exoneration from his involvement in the case.[5]

The 1971 election attracted a then-record 14 declared candidates. Five of Curran's challengers had previous experience in elected office, including California State Assembly member Pete Wilson, former San Diego City Attorney Ed Bulter, San Diego Board of Supervisors member Jack Walsh, former member of the Assembly and the San Diego City Council Tom Hom, and city council member Mike Schaefer. The remaining eight challengers were political outsiders running for their first elective office.[1]

In the September 21, 1971 primary election, Wilson received more than twice as many votes his nearest competitor with 36.8 percent of the vote. Butler came in second place with 18.3 percent, followed by Walsh in third place with 16.2 percent of the vote, and Mayor Curran at 10.6 percent. None of the remaining ten candidates received more than five percent of the vote.[6]

Because no candidate received a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters, Wilson and Butler, advanced to the runoff election scheduled for November 2, 1971. Wilson was then elected mayor with a majority of 61.7 percent of the votes.[6]

Primary election results

San Diego mayoral primary election, 1971[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Wilson 57,940 36.8
Democratic Ed Butler 28,870 18.3
Republican Jack Walsh 25,546 16.2
Democratic Frank Curran 16,743 10.6
Nonpartisan Dan Grady 7,776 4.9
Republican Tom Hom 7,106 4.5
Nonpartisan Virginia Taylor 6,125 3.9
Nonpartisan Gilbert Robledo 2,923 1.9
Nonpartisan Alan Littlemore 1,584 1.0
Republican Mike Schaefer 1,540 1.0
Nonpartisan Arthur Mannion 425 0.3
Nonpartisan William McKinley 373 0.2
Nonpartisan Don Marsh 341 0.2
Nonpartisan Kenny Olson 340 0.2
Total votes 157,632 100

General election

San Diego mayoral general election, 1971[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Wilson 116,003 61.7
Democratic Ed Butler 71,921 38.3
Total votes 187,924 100


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Thomas, Larry (September 19, 1971). "'Undecideds' Called Mayor Primary Key". The San Diego Union. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Williams, Jack (April 28, 2005). "13-year politician later built low-income housing". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "A.G. Mannion in Mayor Race". The San Diego Union. July 2, 1971. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO LOSES 3D‐TERM BID". The New York Times. September 23, 1971. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Abrahamson, Alan (October 21, 1992). "Francis Curran; Former San Diego Mayor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Election History - Mayor of San Diego" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
This page was last edited on 19 February 2021, at 19:42
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