Carl DeMaio

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Carl DeMaio
Carl DeMaio Official.jpg
Member of San Diego City Council from the 5th District
In office
December 2008 – December 2012
Preceded by Brian Maienschein
Succeeded by Mark Kersey
Personal details
Born (1974-09-14) September 14, 1974 (age 40)
Dubuque, Iowa
Political party Republican
Residence Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California
Alma mater Georgetown University
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Carl DeMaio for Congress

Carl DeMaio (born September 14, 1974 in Dubuque, Iowa) is a Republican politician living in San Diego, California. He served one term as a member of the San Diego City Council, representing District 5 from 2008 to 2012.

DeMaio ran for Mayor of San Diego in 2012, losing to then-Congressman Bob Filner, 47.5% to 52.5%.[1]

In May 2013, DeMaio announced his candidacy for California's 52nd congressional district, challenging incumbent Scott Peters. Under California's "top two" primary system, he will run against Peters in the November 2014 general election.

Life and business career[edit]

DeMaio was born in 1974 in Dubuque, Iowa to a pair of teachers, Carl Joseph DeMaio and Diane M. DeMaio (née Elgin). His family moved to Orange County, California in the late 1970s. He attended St. Catherine's Military Academy, a Catholic school in Anaheim, through eighth grade; in 1989 he got a scholarship to Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland.[2] His mother died in 1990; his father is estranged.[3] He graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1993, then attended Georgetown University, where he received a degree in International Politics and Business.[4]

While attending college, DeMaio worked as a political intern in Washington, D. C., then worked for the Congressional Institute,[3] serving as the Institute's Director of Planning.[4] He worked in Washington from 1994 to 1999. After college, he established The Performance Institute,[3] a for-profit think tank that provided training for government officials, followed by the American Strategic Management Institute, which provided financial and management training to corporations.[5] He sold both companies to the Thompson Publishing Group in late 2007.[5][6]

DeMaio moved to San Diego in 2002.[7] That year he appeared on behalf of the Performance Institute in front of the San Diego City Council to present an award to the city for having the most efficient government in California. He later alleged this award was based on "false and misleading" financial data provided to him by the city.[4] In 2004, the Performance Institute claimed that San Diego's predicted budget deficit of $27 million was in fact closer to $80–$100 million.[3] DeMaio has advocated for change in San Diego's budget process.[8][9]

Political career[edit]

San Diego City Council[edit]

DeMaio ran for the termed-out Brian Maienschein's District 5 San Diego City Council seat in the nonpartisan 2008 election.[10] At the time, District 5 included the neighborhoods of Rancho Bernardo, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Sabre Springs, Mira Mesa, Sorrento Mesa,[11] Scripps Ranch, and San Pasqual Valley.[10]

He won the seat in the June primary election, defeating his opponent, former Solana Beach Fire Chief George K. George, with 66% of the vote.[12] DeMaio was the first openly gay man to be elected to the council,[13][14] and also the first Italian American elected to office in the city of San Diego since the 1930s.[15]

As a council member, DeMaio was vice chair of three committees: the Natural Resources and Culture Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Audit Committee.[16]

While a member of the City Council, DeMaio released a number of studies and proposals on city employee compensation packages and pension benefits, arguing that salaries and benefits of city employees should be reduced to levels consistent with the local labor market. He also opposed a proposal to build a new San Diego central library, saying the city could not afford it.[17]

DeMaio also proposed a Sunshine Act,[18] which passed the City Council with unanimous support. The ordinance imposed new disclosure and transparency reforms on city government.[19]

Pension Reform Initiative[edit]

DeMaio was the primary author of San Diego's June 2012 Proposition B, entitled "Amendments to the San Diego City Charter Affecting Retirement Benefits," and he led the drive to put it on the ballot.[20][21] Proposition B proposed (1) limiting of compensation used to calculate city employee pension benefits; (2) eliminating defined-benefit pensions for many new city employees, substituting a defined-contribution (401(k)-style) plan; (3) requiring substantially equal pension contributions from the City and employees; and (4) eliminating the right of employees/retirees to vote to change their benefits.[20] Proposition B was approved by San Diego voters by a 2-to-1 margin on June 5, 2012.[22]

DeMaio continues to push pension reform at the state and federal levels.[23][24]

Other ballot initiatives[edit]

In 2010, DeMaio supported the addition of a citizen initiative called "Competition and Transparency in City Contracts", which would require the city to seek competitive bids for some services and allow the city to outsource without the involvement of unions. However, the measure was rejected by the county registrar of voters after a random sample concluded that DeMaio had not gathered enough valid signatures.[25] After the ballot measure was rejected, San Diego CityBeat reported that a committee called "Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio" had paid $16,000 to Hale Media Inc., a company owned by DeMaio’s boyfriend, for signature gathering. When CityBeat contacted Johnathan Hale, he said he hadn’t done any paid work for the campaign, but had only volunteered and taken photos. A campaign spokesperson said the money was reimbursement to Hale Media for paying the interns who were collecting signatures.[26]

DeMaio also campaigned against a proposal to boost the city's sales tax by a half-a-billion dollars over five years. He argued instead to reduce the budget deficit through spending cuts and pension reform.[27][28]

Campaign for Mayor[edit]

In 2011, DeMaio filed papers declaring his intention to run for Mayor of San Diego in 2012, when mayor Jerry Sanders would be retiring due to term limits.[29] In June 2011, he formally declared his candidacy.[30] He was endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party in March 2012.[31] In the June 5 primary he placed first with 31.42% of the vote and advanced to a runoff election against U.S. Representative Bob Filner in November.[32]

The U-T San Diego published a front-page endorsement of DeMaio before the June 2012 primary.[33] The Voice of San Diego described the endorsement as unprecedented: "Actually, they weren't even on the front page — the editorials were wrapped around the page as though they were even more important."[34]

On September 25, 2012, Sanders endorsed DeMaio to be his successor. At the time of the endorsement, a 10News and SurveyUSA poll of voters gave Filner a twelve point lead over DeMaio.[35]

On Election Day, DeMaio lost to Filner, 52.5% to 47.5%.[1] According to the Daily Beast, "homophobia from his opponents unquestionably plagued DeMaio during his mayoral campaign."[36]

Campaign for Congress 2014[edit]

On May 30, 2013, DeMaio announced his intention to run for Congress in 2014 against incumbent Scott Peters.[37] DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republican candidates for Congress in the 2014 elections. In February 2014, he became the first congressional candidate to feature his same-sex partner in a campaign ad.[36][38]

In September 2013, he considered running for Mayor of San Diego in a November 2013 special election, called because of Filner's resignation, but decided to stay in the race for Congress.[39]

In the June 2014 primary, he came in second to Peters with 36% of the vote, ensuring DeMaio a place on the ballot in the November 2014 general election.[40]

The National Republican Congressional Committee has elevated DeMaio to “On the Radar” status, which gives candidates the “tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns.”[41] DeMaio has received the endorsement of Tom Hom, the first Asian-American San Diego City Council member,[42] the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the Mexican American Business & Professional Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business.[43][44]

Political positions[edit]

DeMaio has said that healthcare reform is necessary, but that the Affordable Care Act “as written will not work"[45] and that his opponent has “resisted meaningful reform.”[46] He has stated that his reform proposals include allowing individuals to buy health insurance across state lines and putting the government exchanges under private management.[47]

He has stated his intent to propose a “No Budget, No Pay law that would permanently penalize the pay of Members of Congress and political appointees in the White House when they fail to pass a budget on time.”[47]

On gun control, DeMaio has stated that he supports “full enforcement of existing laws as well as more resources to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those with mental health disorders.”[47]

According to the National Journal, he “has voiced support for gay marriage, abortion rights, and environmental protections.”[48]


  1. ^ a b "Presidential General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Rother, Caitlin (2005-05-18). "Newcomer businessman wants a shot at fixing S.D.; San Diego Union-Tribune, May 18, 2005". Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lamb, John R. (2004-05-19). "The Government Budget Geek; San Diego CityBeat, March 2004". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interview: Carl DeMaio; San Diego Mazagine, April 2007". Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  5. ^ a b Thompson Publishing acquires performance management company. | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared
  6. ^ Davis, Kelly (4-25-12). "Carl DeMaio A to Z". San Diego City Beat. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "San Diego Mazagine, April 2007". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  8. ^ Rother, Caitlin (2005-05-18). "Newcomer businessman wants a shot at fixing S.D.; San Diego Union-Tribune, May 18, 2005". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  9. ^ "The End of Pensions; New York Times, Oct. 30, 2005". 2005-10-30. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  10. ^ a b Powell, Ronald W. (May 9, 2008), "Demand for city services is top issue George, DeMaio run in District 5", San Diego Union Tribune: B-1  [1]
  11. ^ Hall, Matthew T. (2009-03-01). "San Diego Union Tribune, March 1, 2009". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  12. ^ Powell, Ronald W. (2008-06-08). "DeMaio to weigh in on runoffs: Council victor eyes 'reform' candidates". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  13. ^ Pe, Joseph (2008-12-11). "GLT » New elected officials emphasize optimism amidst crisis". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  14. ^ Tom Blair (April 2007). "Carl DeMaio". San Diego Magazine. SDM, LLC. Retrieved 8 June 2011. "The fact that I’m gay, I suppose." 
  15. ^ Murray-Ramirez, Nicole. "The other side of Carl DeMaio". Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "City of San Diego:Council committees". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  17. ^ San Diego Union Tribune, October 20, 2009
  18. ^ "Pomerado News". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  19. ^ "San Diego Daily Business Report". San Diego Metro. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  20. ^ a b "Proposition B: Official title and summary". City of San Diego. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Dillon, Liam (May 25, 2012). "A Reader's Guide to Carl DeMaio". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "Election Results: Prop. B". NBC San Diego. 6/6/12. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  23. ^ "Paving the Hard Road to Pension Reform". Union Times San Diego. 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  24. ^ "Opinion: Revoking the Federal Free Pass on Pensions". Wall Street Journal. 2/6/13. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  25. ^ "Registrar: DeMaio measure short on signatures; San Diego Union-Tribune, June 28, 2010". 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  26. ^ Davis, Kelly (2010-06-30). "Petition puzzle". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  27. ^ Dillon, Liam (November 5, 2011). "It's in Carl's Hands Now". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Sales tax: Both sides dive in to lively campaign; San Diego Union-Tribune, August 5, 2010". 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  29. ^ "Carl DeMaio Files Papers to Run for San Diego Mayor". San Diego 6 News. January 7, 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  30. ^ "DeMaio kicks off campaign for San Diego mayor |". 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  31. ^ County GOP endorses DeMaio", San Diego Union Tribune, March 22, 2012
  32. ^ "Official primary election results". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "Editorial: Carl DeMaio for mayor of San Diego". U-T San Diego (MLIM Company). 5 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  34. ^ Lewis, Scott (September 11, 2012). "The Two Faces of Papa Doug". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  35. ^ Orr, Katie (25 September 2012). "Mayor Sanders Endorses DeMaio As Successor". KPBS. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "Gay Republican Runs Against The LGBT Lobby". The Daily Beast. 5/3/14. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  37. ^ Steve Fiorina; Hannah Mullins (30 May 2013). "Carl DeMaio announces run for Congress". KGTV (The E.W. Scripps Co.). Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  38. ^ "Gay Republican Candidate's Ad Poses Test for Party". Wall Street Journal. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 5/13/14/. 
  39. ^ "Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, Supervisor Ron Roberts will not run for San Diego mayor". ABC 10 News. September 3, 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  40. ^ Walker, Mark (June 3, 2014). "Peters, DeMaio head to November". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  41. ^ Livingston, Abby (2013-11-21). "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’". Roll Call. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  42. ^ Jennewein, Chris (2014-08-26). "DeMaio Declares GOP ‘Wake-Up’ Call With Asian-American Backing". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  43. ^ Stone, Ken (2014-04-17). "DeMaio, Peters Hail Endorsements by Taxpayers, Mexican-American Groups". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  44. ^ Jennewein, Chris (2014-09-10). "DeMaio Answers Chamber-for-Peters Endorsement with Own". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  45. ^ Hyde, Olin (2013-10-23). "Why I Rescinded My DeMaio Endorsement – Then Gave It Back". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  46. ^ Walker, Mark (2013-11-13). "Peters, DeMaio spar over Obamacare". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  47. ^ a b c Trageser, Claire (7-11-14). "DeMaio, Peters On Climate Change, Immigration, Guns, Marijuana". KPBS. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  48. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jack (2014-08-28). "What Kind of Republican Is Carl DeMaio?". National Journal. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

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