Kevin Faulconer, a Republican city councilman, won Tuesday's special election for mayor of San Diego. Faulconer defeated Democrat and fellow councilman David Alvarez in the race to fill the seat held by Democrat Bob Filner, who resigned his position last year amid numerous sexual assault allegations and ahead of criminal charges.

Faulconer's election means San Diego is the most populous city in America with a Republican mayor, although the city council has a Democratic majority. San Diego elections are officially nonpartisan, meaning party affiliations are not listed on the ballot.

In contrast with many other major cities, San Diego has a recent tradition of electing mayors from the GOP. Filner's predecessor, Jerry Sanders, was mayor from 2005 to 2012. And San Diego's longtime Republican mayor Pete Wilson, who served from 1971 to 1983, went on to become a U.S. senator and then governor of California.

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