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1986 San Diego mayoral special election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1986 San Diego mayoral special election
Flag of San Diego, California.svg

← 1984 June 3, 1986 (1986-06-03) 1988 →
Maureen O'Connor.jpg
Nominee Maureen O'Connor Bill Cleator
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 112,308 90,811
Percentage 55.3% 44.7%

Mayor before election

Ed Struiksma (acting)

Elected Mayor

Maureen O'Connor

The 1986 San Diego mayoral special election was held on June 3, 1986 to elect the mayor for San Diego. The special election was necessary due to the resignation of former Mayor Roger Hedgecock.

Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan, though some candidates do receive funding and support from various political parties. The non-partisan special primary was held Tuesday, February 25, 1986. Former San Diego City Council member Maureen O'Connor and current council member Bill Cleator received the most votes and advanced to the June runoff. O'Connor was elected mayor with a majority of the votes in the June runoff.

Roger Hedgecock resignation

On December 10, 1985, Roger Hedgecock resigned as mayor of San Diego after losing an attempt to overturn a felony conviction on one count of conspiracy and 12 counts of perjury. Deputy Mayor Ed Struiksma assumed the role of acting mayor until a special election could be held to fill the vacancy.[1]


  • Maureen O'Connor, former member of the San Diego City Council and mayoral candidate in 1983[2]
  • Bill Cleator, member of the San Diego City Council and mayoral candidate in 1983[2]
  • Floyd Morrow, former member of the San Diego City Council[2]
  • Ed Struiksma, member of the San Diego City Council and acting mayor[2]
  • Mary Christian-Heising, political scientist [3]
  • Loch David Crane, magician, college instructor, and perennial candidate[3]
  • Robert McCullough, environmental developer[3]
  • Raymond Peters, former owner of New World Airways[3]
  • John Kelley, semi-retired public relations man, and perennial candidate[3]
  • Warren Nielsen, construction company owner[3]
  • Vernon Watts, Jr., unemployed[3]
  • Nicholas Walpert, part-time pilot[3]
  • Rose Lynne, retired teacher and perennial candidate[3]
  • Arthur Helliwell, veteran[3]


The special election to replace Hedgecock attracted a crowded field of candidates. The three candidates considered front-runners were San Diego City Council member Bill Cleator, a Republican, and former council members Maureen O'Connor and Floyd Morrow, both Democrats.[2] Acting mayor Ed Struiksma initially filed to run for election, but dropped out of the race after learning that he would be subject of a criminal investigation related to allegedly fabricated expense accounts.[4]

In the primary election held February 25, 1986, O'Connor placed first with 45.9 percent of the vote followed by Cleator with 30.1 percent. Morrow finished in third with 19.1 percent of the vote. Struiksma, whose name remained on the ballot despite dropping out, received 1.6 percent of the vote. The remaining votes were distributed between 12 other candidates, none of whom received more than one percent of the vote.[5] As the top two vote-getters, O'Connor and Cleator advanced to the June runoff. O'Connor was then elected mayor with 55.3 percent of the vote on June 3, 1986.

Primary election results

San Diego mayoral special election, 1986[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maureen O'Connor 112,308 45.9
Republican Bill Cleator 53,239 30.1
Democratic Floyd Morrow 33,743 19.1
Republican Ed Struiksma 2,862 1.6
Democratic Mary Christian-Heising 988 0.6
Nonpartisan Loch David Crane 860 0.5
Nonpartisan Robert McCullough 851 0.5
Nonpartisan Raymond Peters 806 0.5
Nonpartisan John Kelley 672 0.4
Nonpartisan Warren Nielsen 572 0.3
Nonpartisan Vernon Watts, Jr. 338 0.2
Nonpartisan Nicholas Walpert 247 0.1
Nonpartisan Rose Lynne 213 0.1
Nonpartisan Arthur Helliwell 189 0.1
Nonpartisan Gladwin Salway (write-in) 18
Nonpartisan Armand Benjamin, Jr. (write-in) 6
Total votes 176,869 100

Runoff election results

San Diego mayoral special runoff election, 1986[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maureen O'Connor 112,308 55.3
Republican Bill Cleator 90,811 44.7
Nonpartisan Merrill Cohen (write-in) 28
Nonpartisan Robert McCullough (write-in) 24
Total votes 203,171 100


  1. ^ Braun, Gerry (December 11, 1985). "Mayor resigns, gets year in custody - appeal will delay serving sentence - Struiksma becomes the acting mayor". San Diego Union. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Smolens, Michael (February 19, 1986). "Mayoral candidates turn up the volume". San Diego Union. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Furey, John (February 4, 1986). "10 other hopefuls chase the leaders". Evening Tribune (San Diego). Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Smolens, Michael; Braun, Gerry (February 7, 1986). "Struiksma drops out of mayor's race - DA will probe expense claims for 1984 trip". San Diego Union. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Election History - Mayor of San Diego" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 17:32
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