What Super Mario Bros. character is your candidate?

by Leonardo Castaneda

San Diego’s special mayoral election has been compared to a lot of things: a horse race (dark horse Mike Aguirre anyone?), a contest, a marathon (and a sprint), a battle and snooze fest.  But none of those terms truly captures the imagination of a younger generation of voters.

It’s possible this is one of the reasons college-aged people have such small voter turnout rates compared to older groups. After all, who is more likely to show up at an event described as a horse race: an 18-year-old in City Heights or a retiree in La Jolla?

In order to combat this metaphorical gap, The Aztec is introducing a new comparison: the mayoral election as a game of the 1999 Nintendo 64 classic, Super Smash Bros.

Three! Two! One! Go!

Nathan Fletcher: Kirby

Kirby is one of the most powerful and therefore most overused characters in the game. Few important contests go by where he doesn’t make an appearance. He has one good signature move, turning into a stone while plummeting onto his opponents—although it’s debatable how useful it really is. However, his main power comes from swallowing and adopting the most popular elements of his opponents. Fletcher—I mean, Kirby—is able to quickly adopt the power, represented as a hat, of any of his opponents. He can also discard them or switch them as needed, making him a slippery opponent to defend against.

Mike Aguirre: Luigi

Luigi is best known as the other brother. He’s one of the oldest characters in the Nintendo universe, and his history has been long and sometimes strange—I’m not still sure what Luigi’s Mansion was all about. Luigi shares nearly identical powers with his more famous brother, Bob. I mean Mario. His most powerful move is coming up from way below his opponent where he is least expected, and delivering an uppercut with his super jump punch. It doesn’t always work, but when it connects it can be devastating to an opponent.

Kevin Faulconer: Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon can be extremely powerful, but most of his moves are slow and borderline useless. But opponents beware: If he catches you immobile for long enough he could potentially Falcon Punch you right out of the arena. His second most powerful move is essentially the exact same thing, the Falcon Kick.

Captain Falcon has some key weaknesses. He doesn’t have a ranged attack, so he has to get really close to his opponents. He also has a tendency to announce what he’s doing, while he’s doing it. It’s annoying and makes him extremely predictable. Last but not least, one of his main attacks, the Falcon Dive, looks freakishly similar to an explosive hip thrust.

David Alvarez: Ness

Ness is an interesting character. His attacks are often strange and ineffective, but when managed by a skilled enough player, Ness is almost unstoppable. He’s also one of the few characters who brings his own weapons to the game, although a yo-yo and toy baseball bat makes me wonder if he’s too young for this fight.  Maybe in four years…
Much like Captain Falcon, Ness tends to announce what he’s doing while he’s doing it, although his PK Fire and PK Thunder are much more effective. And don’t count him out, even when he seems to be falling. Ness can electrify right to the top of any fight.

Bonus Character:

Michael Kemmer: Jigglypuff

Just because everyone thinks it’d be cool and kind of funny if Jigglypuff actually won, but it’s not going to happen.

Boss fight:
Bob Filner: Metal Mario

All characters in the game had to eventually face the monstrous Metal Mario on their quest to ultimate victory. Defeating him wasn’t a matter of executing one critical hit, but of slowly building up his damage until he simply fell off the map.