City Attorney Debate: Mara Elliott vs. Robert Hickey

In the realm of local politics, city attorney races may not always garner the same attention as mayoral or city council elections, but they are crucial positions that hold significant power and responsibility. In San Diego, California, the upcoming city attorney debate between incumbent Mara Elliott and challenger Robert Hickey promises to be a pivotal event that could shape the legal landscape of this coastal city.

Mara Elliott: The Incumbent

Mara Elliott currently serves as the City Attorney of San Diego, a position she has held since 2016. A native of San Diego, Elliott brought extensive legal experience to the role, having served as a Deputy City Attorney and later as Chief Deputy City Attorney before being elected as the city’s top lawyer.

During her tenure, Elliott has prioritized various legal issues that impact the residents of San Diego. She has been a vocal advocate for stricter gun control measures and has taken legal action against manufacturers and distributors of firearms. Additionally, she has focused on environmental protection, consumer rights, and public safety.

Robert Hickey: The Challenger

Challenging Elliott for the position of City Attorney is Robert Hickey, a former Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County. Hickey is running on a platform that emphasizes public safety, tackling homelessness, and addressing the opioid crisis. He has criticized Elliott’s handling of certain legal matters, particularly her stance on policing and homelessness, and aims to take a different approach.

Hickey’s background as a prosecutor has been a central focus of his campaign, and he highlights his experience in criminal law as a qualification that sets him apart from his opponent. He also emphasizes the need for accountability and transparency in the city attorney’s office.

Key Issues in the Debate

The upcoming city attorney debate between Mara Elliott and Robert Hickey is expected to revolve around several key issues that have been at the forefront of San Diego’s political landscape:

  1. Homelessness: San Diego, like many major cities, faces significant challenges related to homelessness. Both candidates are likely to present their plans for addressing this complex issue, which involves legal, social, and economic aspects.
  2. Public Safety: Public safety is another critical concern. This includes matters related to crime prevention, police reform, and community policing, among others.
  3. Legal Priorities: The candidates’ positions on legal matters such as gun control, environmental protection, consumer rights, and government transparency will also be closely examined during the debate.
  4. Experience and Leadership: Voters will assess the candidates’ qualifications, experience, and leadership style to determine who they believe is best suited to lead the city attorney’s office.


The city attorney debate between Mara Elliott and Robert Hickey promises to be an important event in the lead-up to the San Diego municipal elections. The outcome of this race will shape the legal direction of the city and influence critical issues that affect its residents. As voters in San Diego prepare to cast their ballots, they have the opportunity to consider the candidates’ positions and determine who they believe will best serve the interests of the city and its diverse population. The debate serves as a vital forum for these discussions, allowing voters to make informed decisions about the future of their community.

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