Published: Nov 02, 2012 3:41 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 03, 2012 6:30 AM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Whoever wins Tuesday's election for mayor of the nation's eighth-largest city will represent a break from the past.

A win by Councilman Carl DeMaio would make San Diego the largest U.S. city by far to choose an openly gay Republican leader. The 38-year-old DeMaio also would become one of the few young Republicans elected to a high-profile office in California.

He made his political mark in the city by attacking municipal employee unions and attaching himself to the winning sides of ballot campaigns to privatize services, defeat a sales tax and cut public pensions.

U.S. Rep. Bob Filner has what looks like a golden opportunity for Democrats to capture an office that has eluded their grasp for most of four decades.

The 70-year-old Filner is campaigning as a voice for those shut out of a City Hall that has long been led by moderate Republicans.