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San Diego mayor's race highlights sharp divides

By By ELLIOT SPAGAT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Interstate 8 has long been a political divide in San Diego and maybe never more than in the campaign to replace Bob Filner, who resigned as mayor amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations.

Republican Councilman Kevin Faulconer easily topped a field of 11 candidates in a first round of voting by dominating in wealthier neighborhoods north of the freeway.

Democratic Councilman David Alvarez finished second by winning south of the freeway in predominantly Latino areas.

If Faulconer prevails in Tuesday's runoff, San Diego would be the nation's largest city with a Republican mayor.

If Alvarez wins, he would be the city's first Latino mayor but needs a strong showing south of Interstate 8 among voters who made Filner the city's first Democratic leader in 20 years in 2012.

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