City Councilman Kevin Faulconer announced today that his name will be on the ballot in the November special election to finish the mayoral term of Bob Filner, who resigned in disgrace after nine months as the city's chief executive.
Faulconer's decision was widely expected. The senior member of the City Council in length of service, he is to be termed-out next year, and it's been long believed that he aspires to the mayor's office.
"I stand with my fellow San Diegans and I'm ready to do my part to make sure San Diego's next chapter is our best yet," Faulconer said.
The representative of the city's beach areas and Point Loma is a vocal proponent of a competitive bidding program called "managed competition" to create a leaner city government and was a leading critic of the state abolishing redevelopment agencies.
"Together, we will restore integrity to City Hall," Faulconer said. "Together, we will put an end to the dysfunction and get our city working again for the taxpayers of San Diego."
He said returning trust to the mayor's office is one of the "greatest challenges facing our community."
If no other major candidates enter the race, Faulconer would be the primary conservative entrant against one-time Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who left the GOP during last year's mayoral campaign to become an independent. Months after finishing third in the June 2012 primary, he re- registered as a Democrat.
Last week, Fletcher -- now an executive at Qualcomm -- received endorsements from unions representing firefighters and municipal white-collar workers. The former Marine released a video Tuesday in which he said one of his priorities will be giving hard-working residents an opportunity to buy their own home.
While a few other local political leaders are still mulling a run for mayor, including City Attorney Mike Aguirre, the field mostly cleared Tuesday when Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, ex-Councilman Carl DeMaio and Supervisor Ron Roberts all declined to enter the race.
"In the few days since I assumed the duties of mayor, it has become clear to me that the problems left by Bob Filner are substantial and serious," Gloria said. "The enormous task of cleaning up City Hall while ensuring District Three is represented requires me to lead a focused team effort that produces quick results for San Diego."
DeMaio said he would renew his attention on previously announced plans to challenge Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, in a congressional race next year, while Supervisor Ron Roberts said he preferred to finish his term with the county.
DeMaio told reporters that his focus was on his agenda to reform government more than a particular office.
"Now I know that this decision may disappoint some of my supporters, though please recognize that our reform agenda is a team effort and is bigger than any one individual," said DeMaio, who narrowly lost to Filner in a runoff last November.
"I'm confident that we have several exceptional leaders in our city who possess the integrity and sincerity and consistency of position to carry forward our reform agenda as our next mayor," DeMaio said.
Runs by Gloria and DeMaio would have pitted two prominent and openly gay politicians against each other in the race to lead the nation's eighth largest city.
So far, 17 people have declared their intention to run.
—City News Service