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San Diego Prepares For Post-Filner Politics

 
San Diego Prepares For Post-Filner Politics

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - With Bob Filner's official resignation as San Diego's  mayor set to take effect this Friday, the scramble to replace him has begun,  and the field of potential candidates includes familiar faces.

Among those considering a run to succeed Filner in a special election is  former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who lost to Finer by around 2 percentage  points in last November's runoff election. Since losing to Filner, DeMaio, a  Republican, has been planning a campaign to oust Rep. Scott Peters, D-San  Diego, next year.

A spokesman said DeMaio was conferring with supporters and community  leaders who have asked him to run for mayor in a special election.

Two current council members, Council President Todd Gloria and Kevin  Faulconer, also have said they are considering a run, although they are not  prepared to announce ar decision.

At least two people have taken steps toward running in the special  election.

The City Clerk's Office said that ex-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, now a  Democrat, has filed a notice of intention to run in the race -- a necessary  step before forming a campaign committee. Fletcher, an executive with San Diego- based Qualcomm, gained nearly 24 percent of the vote in the June 2012 primary  but fell short of qualifying for the runoff.

Tobiah Pettus, a website owner, also filed the intent notice, according  to the clerk's office.

Among familiar faces who will not be running are City Attorney Jan  Goldsmith, one of Filner's biggest political rivals, and District Attorney  Bonnie Dumanis, who finished a distant fourth in the primary election. Both  said they will not run in the special election.

A third rumored candidate, state Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins (D- San Diego), also announced that she would not enter the race.

Now that Filner has resigned effective 5 p.m. Friday, a special election  will be scheduled within 90 days. If a candidate receives more than 50  percent of the votes, that person will become mayor. Otherwise, a runoff  election will be held between the top two vote-getters.

Filner agreed to resign after the City Council approved a deal with him  that provides him with legal representation in a sexual harassment lawsuit  filed by his former communications aide, Irene McCormack Jackson.

As part of that deal, the city will provide a joint legal defense with  the mayor against claims against him by city employees or contractors, but the  city reserves the right to seek reimbursement for any damages it suffers.  Filner will also be permitted to hire his own lawyer, according to the city  attorney.

Although he apologized, the 70-year-old former Democratic congressman  blamed a ``lynch mob mentality'' for leading to his demise and insisted that he  ``never sexually harassed anyone.''

Filner is also mired investigations into his alleged misuse of a city- issued credit card and shakedowns of developers.

He is the third mayor of San Diego in recent times to resign amid  scandal, following Roger Hedgecock and Dick Murphy. Filner left Congress to  become mayor less than nine months ago.

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