Q&A with Mayoral Write-In Candidate Kirk Horvath
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
CE News (CEN) had a valuable opportunity to catch up with Coronado's late-filing mayoral write-in candidate Kirk Horvath for a quick Q&A in advance of Tuesday's general election:
CEN: Why did you decide to register as a write in candidate on the day of the filing deadline (Oct. 20th) after many residents had already voted?
Horvath: I actually wanted to register as a candidate before the September deadline but had some personal things going on at the time which did not allow me to. Once that deadline had passed, my realistic chance of a winning campaign to run for mayor, somewhat went with it. But something in my heart said this was a “must.” To be honest, knowing that write-ins don’t usually win, I still felt in my heart that I had to be obedient to the call. So on October 19, I pulled papers, obtained 30 signatures and put my name in the hat.
CEN: Why did you decide to run for mayor instead of one of the two council seats up for grabs? Horvath: I didn’t run for the 2 available council seats because I adamantly feel that the residents of Coronado needed a real residents first choice for mayor, right now.
CEN: The mayoral incumbent raised over $50K in campaign funds and has spent more than $30K to run unopposed. Do you feel a candidate for a Coronado local office should spend so much, and how much do you expect to spend on your write in campaign? Horvath: No, I don’t. I honestly don’t understand why so much money is raised and spent in such a small town. Certainly it’s ok for residents to contribute to a candidate for any elected seat but I think it’s gotten a little out of hand. In my opinion, all candidates should have a $10K cap. I have had no contributions and I haven’t spent a dime.
CEN: The mayoral incumbent has a Republican endorsement, and along with his campaign treasurer sits on the Central Committee of the Republican Party of San Diego County that decides who gets the Republican endorsements in Coronado, a town that is predominately registered Republican. As a registered independent, do you feel partisan endorsements are appropriate for the nonpartisan local offices in Coronado such as mayor, council and school board? Horvath: No, I don’t think partisan endorsements are appropriate in Coronado at all. To this day, I still don’t know what political party Patty Schmidt, Tom Smisek, Casey Tanaka etc, belonged to. I believe it’s up to the residents/voters to study the candidates' characters and beliefs to understand how they may vote on the issues our community faces and not rely on partisan endorsements from any political party.
CEN: Looking at his voting record to spend on big ticket items such as the $25M+ sewage plant on the golf course and $43M+ utility undergrounding master plan, do you feel the mayoral incumbent is a true fiscal conservative, or would your platform be more fiscally prudent? Horvath: To be honest, I’m not quite sure just how fiscally conservative our incumbent mayor is. In my opinion, we definitely do not need to spend millions to underground our utilities, and before we go any further with the sewage treatment plant project, I believe we need to study alternative options to conserve water.
CEN: What are some of the issues on your platform that may differ from the mayoral incumbent?
Horvath: With me being an Independent conservative and the incumbent a Republican conservative, I believe we may align with the handling of some of the issues Coronado faces. Where I believe we differ the most is transparency and honest communications to the residents of Coronado. I don’t believe enough is done to truly inform the residents on the issues/decisions of the day our elected officials make on our behalf.
CEN: Before you decided to run as write in for mayor, did you support the “Abstain for Mayor” campaign? Horvath: When I saw the “Abstain for Mayor” campaign, I was quite honestly shocked. I, like many others, have never seen something like that before in Coronado. We’ve always had a choice. At first, I supported it because I understood the sentiment. I definitely wasn’t voting for the incumbent this year so it made sense for some of the community to express the way they will vote. Now that I’ve entered the race, I don’t support it. If you haven’t voted yet, you have a choice.
CEN: The town is largely divided along partisan lines to an unprecedented extent — do you feel you can provide leadership to unify the town instead of further divide it like the mayoral incumbent has done? Horvath: I absolutely believe that I can unify this town. On a smaller level, within the community, I already have. Over the past 5-10 years, I’ve been studying what unifies people in real life. I realized that when you stand for what is right and good and can communicate the truth on any given matter, you break the barrier of division and it brings people together regardless of political party.
CEN: Do you feel City Hall should be gutted, or are you content with the current Council, City Manager, City Attorney and City Staff? Horvath: I’m not content whatsoever. I believe something is seriously wrong at City Hall. Electing leaders to govern, is the most important responsibility we have as Americans. Our elected officials symbolize who we are as a people. It is our responsibility to examine the character and beliefs of who we are voting for before we vote. This responsibility also applies to the hiring process to positions of leadership within our city. I believe our city has some good managers in place but is lacking great leaders in positions that demand it. Elected officials are the citizens responsibility. Hiring people to positions within our city services is a whole different story. I would love to take a good hard look at that process and possibly make significant changes to ensure city hall is hiring people that aren’t just great on paper, but of great character.
CEN: Any closing thoughts for residents to consider who have not yet voted?
Horvath: For those of you that have already voted and wanted a choice, I apologize I didn’t get in the race sooner. For those of you who haven’t voted yet, a vote for me is a step in the right direction towards a real residents first Mayor. My platform is simple. I’m the real “residents first” candidate period. My campaign for Mayor isn’t about what “I’m” going to do for Coronado, it’s about what the “residents” are going to do for Coronado, through me. I’m sick of the lack of participation from our community in the decision making of our elected officials. In my opinion, that’s the biggest part of the problem. We have forgotten who actually runs this town. “We” the citizens do. My campaign, as late as it may seem, is an attempt to wake up the soul of this treasured town and take back what is ours. Way too many decisions are being made with very few resident’s being involved. That’s our fault. I believe I can change that.
CE News Editorial Board