1984 San Diego mayoral election

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1984 San Diego mayoral election
Flag of San Diego, California.svg
← 1983 (special) November 6, 1984 (1984-11-06) 1986 (special) →
  Mayor Hedgecock.jpg
Nominee Roger Hedgecock Dick Carlson
Party Republican Republican
Popular vote 205,990 149,939
Percentage 57.9% 42.1%

Mayor before election

Roger Hedgecock

Elected Mayor

Roger Hedgecock

The 1984 San Diego mayoral election was held on November 6, 1984 to elect the mayor for San Diego. Incumbent mayor Roger Hedgecock stood for reelection.

Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan, though some candidates do receive funding and support from various political parties.[1] The non-partisan primary was held June 5, 1984. Roger Hedgecock and Dick Carlson received the most votes and advanced to the November runoff. Hedgecock was reelected with a majority of the votes in the November election.



Incumbent mayor Roger Hedgecock stood for reelection for his first full term, having previously been elected to finish Pete Wilson's third term. Maureen O'Connor, who had previously come in second to Hedgecock in the 1983 mayoral election, declined to run.[3] Dick Carlson, a former anchorman and savings-and-loans executive, was considered Hedgecock's main challenger.[2]

A major issue during the campaign were allegations that Hedgecock's 1983 mayoral campaign benefited from $357,000 in illegal contributions. Carlson, on the other hand, was criticized for being inexperienced in government and for going back on a promises not to use his personal fortune in the campaign.[4]

On June 5, 1984, Hedgecock came in first in the primary with 47.0 percent of the vote, followed by Carlson with 37.7 percent of the vote.[5] The remaining 15.3 percent of the primary vote was scattered among seven minor candidates, none of whom received more than 5 percent individually. Local newspapers interpreted the relatively high vote for the minor candidates as protest votes and an indication that the electorate was dissatisfied with both Hedgecock an Carlson.[6]

Because Hedgecock was short of an overall majority of the vote, he and Carlson advanced to a runoff election scheduled for November 6, 1984. Hedgecock ultimately prevailed in the general election with 57.9 percent of the vote, and was reelected as mayor.[5]

Primary election results[edit]

San Diego mayoral primary election, 1984[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Roger Hedgecock 95,097 47.0
Republican Dick Carlson 76,296 37.7
Nonpartisan Nancy Bradshaw 9,394 4.6
Nonpartisan Rich Riel 6,584 3.3
Nonpartisan Warren Nielsen 4,345 2.2
Nonpartisan Don Parker 4,237 2.1
Nonpartisan Robertson Whittemore 3,061 1.5
Nonpartisan Rose Lynne 2,332 1.2
National Democratic Policy Committee James Wyrick 1,103 0.5
Total votes 202,449 100

General election results[edit]

San Diego mayoral general election, 1984[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Roger Hedgecock 205,990 57.9
Republican Dick Carlson 149,939 42.1
Total votes 355,929 100


  1. ^ "How to Run for Office". The City of San Diego-Office of the City Clerk. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ristine, Jeff (April 27, 1984). "The unlikely 7 in mayor's race". The Evening Tribune (San Diego). Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Smolens, Michael (March 11, 1984). "Logic of O'Connor decision puzzles political community". The San Diego Union. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Ristine, Jeff (June 1, 1984). "Mayor himself is major issue in mayoral race - Hedgecock's dealings still hold center stage". Evening Tribune (San Diego). Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Election History - Mayor of San Diego" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Colvin, Terry L. (June 7, 1984). "Mayor's race 'victors' face 5-month race". The San Diego Union. Retrieved March 10, 2017.