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2005 San Diego mayoral special election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2005 San Diego mayoral special election
Flag of San Diego, California.svg

← 2004 November 8, 2005 (2005-11-08) 2008 →
Donna Frye City Council.jpg
Nominee Jerry Sanders Donna Frye
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 176,893 152,105
Percentage 53.6% 46.1%

Mayor before election

Toni Atkins (acting)

Elected Mayor

Jerry Sanders

The 2005 San Diego mayoral special election was a special election held on Tuesday, November 8, 2005, to elect the mayor for San Diego. The special election was necessary due to the resignation of former Mayor Dick Murphy.

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, June 3, 2008. San Diego City Council member Donna Frye and former San Diego police chief Jerry Sanders received the most votes and advanced to the November special general election. Sanders was elected mayor with a majority of the votes in November.[1]

Dick Murphy resignation

On April 25, 2005, Dick Murphy announced that he would resign as mayor of San Diego, effective July 15, 2005. Murphy had only recently been reelected as mayor in the highly contested 2004 mayoral election. Murphy's resignation occurred during investigations by the SEC and the FBI into the San Diego pension scandal.[2] The city held a special election to fill the vacancy at mayor. Following Murphy's resignation, Michael Zucchet served as acting mayor for three days before he too resigned due to a corruption conviction that was later overturned.[3] Council member Toni Atkins then served as acting mayor until the mayoral election was complete.




The special election to replace Murphy attracted a crowded field of eleven official candidates on the ballot. Donna Frye, a member of the San Diego City Council who had almost beaten Murphy with a write-in campaign in the 2004 election, was the only democrat among the top-tier candidates. Former police chief Jerry Sanders ran on a platform of executive experience, having successfully turn around the financial situations of the local chapters of the Red Cross and United Way since retiring as police chief. Steve Francis, founder and chairman of AMN Healthcare Services emphasized downsizing city government and implementing business principles. Francis outspent his rivals in the campaign, putting nearly $2 million of his own money into his campaign. Lawyer Pat Shea ran on a platform that San Diego should declare bankruptcy to deal with the pension scandal, a position that the other front runners disagreed with.[4]

Frye won the plurality of votes in the July primary and advanced to the general election along with runner-up Sanders. However, Sanders and third-place finisher Francis, both republicans, combined for a majority of votes cast in the primary. After conceding the primary election, Francis endorsed Sanders for the general election.[6] Sanders was elected mayor with a majority of the votes in the November general election.

Primary election results

San Diego mayoral special primary election, 2005[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Donna Frye 114,573 43.1
Republican Jerry Sanders 71,767 27.0
Republican Steve Francis 62,500 23.5
Republican Pat Shea 6,299 2.4
Libertarian Richard Rider 4,173 1.6
Republican Myke Shelby 3,881 1.5
Republican Shawn A. McMillan 619 0.2
Democratic Jim Bell 529 0.2
Nonpartisan Ed Kolker 452 0.2
Nonpartisan Jeremy Ledford 425 0.2
Nonpartisan Thomas Knapp 109
Total votes 265,573 100

General election results

San Diego mayoral special general election, 2005[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Sanders 176,893 53.6
Democratic Donna Frye 152,105 46.1
Total votes 334,249 100


  1. ^ "How to Run for Office". The City of San Diego-Office of the City Clerk. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  2. ^ "San Diego mayor resigns amid pension fund probe". USA Today. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  3. ^ Coffey, Daniel (October 14, 2010). "Justice undone: Michael Zucchet and Ralph Inzunza". San Diego Daily Transcript. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Pollack, Andrew (21 July 2005). "Upheaval Continues in San Diego as 11 Vie for Mayor". New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Election History - Mayor of San Diego" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Third-place finisher backs former police chief in mayoral runoff". Associated Press. 29 July 2005. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 23:39
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