SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Councilman Carl DeMaio and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, made their final pitches for mayor Monday at separate campaign events.
DeMaio was joined at a news conference on Harbor Island by Mayor Jerry Sanders, and current and incoming members of the City Council, to push for a continuation of the fiscal changes implemented over the past two years. Filner gathered with Latino leaders to encourage Hispanic voters to cast ballots.
"Tomorrow, voters will go to the polls to decide who the 35th mayor of San Diego will be," Sanders said. "They'll either choose a leader who will continue the substantial progress we've made, or they'll choose one who will undo everything that we've done."
Sanders said DeMaio is the best choice to move the financial changes forward and implement adjustments to the pension system approved overwhelmingly by voters in June. His opponents haven't suggested any ideas that will save taxpayers a nickel, he said.
DeMaio said San Diegans want a government that works for them.
"Tomorrow, San Diegans will be asked a very simple question -- should we continue with fiscal reform," DeMaio said. "Do we have more to restore in our neighborhoods, or have we finished the job, and can city government be more of a champion for working families and small businesses that want to create jobs."
He said he expects the election results to reflect "a resounding yes" to those questions.
At an event in front of a library in Logan Heights, Latino voters chanted "Bob, si puedas (Bob, he can)" and "Roberto Filner" to express their support for the congressman.
Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, told the crowd Latinos will decide who becomes the next mayor.
"If people vote in this election, Bob Filner will win," Hueso said. "So please come out to vote in this very important election that's going to determine San Diego's future in a big way."
Filner said his election would mean appointments for Latinos and other ethnic groups in the mayor's office, and on city boards and commissions, and they would be given more contracts.
He bristled at the term "likely voters" in the polls.
"They think you are not going to vote, they think that the Latino community is not going to vote," Filner said. "The Latino community will be the margin of victory in this election, as they will be in the national election."
He said his campaign has identified tens of thousands of people who will vote for him, as long as they get to a polling place.
The final pre-election poll by SurveyUSA, conducted for a local news station, was released Monday and shows Filner ahead 49 percent to 45 percent. The firm sampled 611 likely and actual voters between Wednesday and Sunday.
The results showed a slight closing by DeMaio of a six-point lead once held by Filner. A recent poll by another company gave DeMaio a slim lead, and one conducted by U-T San Diego last month showed the councilman up by 10 points
A table that accompanied the SurveyUSA poll gave Democrats a 12-point sampling edge, roughly equivalent to voter registration in the city of San Diego.