Filner endorses Cole in District 4 race

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Myrtle Cole and Dwayne CrenshawSAN DIEGO — Mayor Bob Filner formally endorsed Myrtle Cole today for the City Council’s vacant District 4 seat, which is set for a runoff election on May 21.

Filner has publicly expressed support for her candidacy in the past. She’s a former police lieutenant and is now a coordinator with the United Domestic Workers.

“District 4 needs Myrtle Cole. San Diego needs Myrtle Cole. I need Myrtle Cole,” Filner said in a news conference.

Cole, who is running against longtime community activist Dwayne Crenshaw, will give San Diego its first progressive majority, the mayor said.

“She’s on the side of the people, on seniors, on our youth, for the environment, for health care,” Filner said.

Cole said the city needs to fully fund its police and fire departments, and tackle the root causes of crime.

“We need to make sure that our communities are truly livable, that our potholes are filled, our sidewalks are fixed, our libraries are open, and that we’re partnering with schools to help our kids succeed and to aim them toward college and away from drugs and gangs,” Cole said.

Cole has received backing from most of the area’s Democratic office holders and labor organizations.

She gained 33 percent of the vote in last month’s primary election. Crenshaw led the eight other candidates, drawing 15 percent of the vote.

Crenshaw, who is on leave as executive director of San Diego Pride, has been endorsed by a handful of environmental organizations, school district trustees and most of the other primary candidates.