Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva is running for reelection, but it’s a tough fight with legal troubles overshadowing his record. Silva's opponent, if elected, would become Stockton's youngest mayor.
Mayor Silva says that among his accomplishments are guiding the city out of bankruptcy, adding dozens of police officers to the city’s ranks and making the city a better place than when he took office four years ago.
“The people feel we’re not a perfect city yet, but things are much better than they were," Silva says.
But still unresolved are criminal charges from an allegation that he illegally recorded a strip poker game among underage counselors at a summer camp.
The charge was recently reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor which Silva says was politically motivated by his opponents.
“Mayor arrested at camp, you know, with kids, they wanted to create this other picture, they didn’t really tell anybody that it was about beer pong and the mayor didn’t stop a bunch of counselors from having a party,” Silva says.
The mayor also says he will continue to fight the charge in court.
“My slogan on my sign says, 'They talk smack, but I got your back.' I think everyone knows that’s true about me," Silva says.
Twenty six-year-old City Councilman Michael Tubbs received the most votes for mayor with 33 percent compared to Silva’s 26 percent in the eight-candidate faceoff in June.
Tubbs hasn’t raised the issues of Silva’s legal problems. Instead, he is focusing on his own accomplishments on the council.
“We’ve done amazing work, we’ve opened health clinics, brought banks into South Stockton," Tubbs says. "The leadership that Stockton needs can’t be concentrated in one part of the city. It needs to be throughout the city. That’s what’s prompted my decision to move from city council person to run for mayor.”
Both candidates rank public safety and crime as their main priorities, but Tubbs would like a more multi-pronged approach.
“Crime is spread throughout the city but it’s really concentrated in five hot zone areas (that) have high levels of crime but also high levels of unemployment and low literacy rates,” Tubbs says.
The one major priority that both candidates agree on is the issue of homelessness in the city.