The Hillcrest Town Council held a community forum on September 9, with District Three candidates Stephen Whitburn and Todd Gloria fielding questions from members of the community. The two candidates attempted to distinguish themselves and their positions from one another. It was an uphill battle from the beginning.
Both candidates showed up in similar-looking dark suits, the biggest contrast being Whitburn’s campaign button on his left lapel and Gloria’s campaign-inspired purple tie.
“It’s been said that the two of us would probably vote one hundred percent the same, one hundred percent of the time,” said Gloria in his opening remark.
Gloria reminisced about being a third-generation San Diegan, about living on the same street that his mother grew up on, and talked about the changes that have happened within the district over the years and pointed to his eight years’ experience working as a city employee.
“You’ve got to ask yourself who’s going to be ready to lead. Anyone can push a button yes or no, but who’s going to be ready on day one?”
Whitburn disagreed. “I don’t think we would vote the same.” He went on to say he wouldn’t vote for some of the development that his opponent probably would.
He wished he were fortunate enough to be from San Diego, but said his background as a journalist covering different cities around the country has afforded him knowledge of the inner workings and contrasting approaches of city government.
“I’ve done a whole bunch of different things, while my opponent has only served in one office his entire eight years since he’s been out of college.”
Whitburn feels the experience of serving on the North Park Planning Group has shown him the need for thorough inspection of all development coming to the district. He promised, if elected, he would place a 90-day waiting period on all new proposals.
Some of the other questions during the hourlong forum touched on the support from local developers for Gloria, Whitburn’s lack of experience in city politics, and the proposal for a new Chargers stadium on the Tenth Street Marine Terminal.
For more proof that the two candidates aren’t the same person, visit their respective websites at toddgloria.com and stephenwhitburn.com.