Saldana to join crowded mayor’s race

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LoriSaldanaSAN DIEGO — Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana Monday signaled her intention to enter the already crowded San Diego mayoral race, where she will vie with Councilman David Alvarez for the progressive and union vote.

Alvarez and Saldana join Councilman Kevin Faulconer and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the race to fill the final three years of disgraced ex-Mayor Bob Filner’s term. Around 30 candidates have signaled their intention to run in the Nov. 19 special election.

Alvarez kicked off his campaign Monday by touting the values instilled in him by his parents as he grew up poor — and at one point homeless  — in Barrio Logan. He said San Diegans share his values, but the municipal government doesn’t always reflect them.

“The city has neglected the needs of neighborhoods and vital infrastructure, and has focused instead on giving taxpayer subsidies to well- connected special interests,” Alvarez told reporters. “The city has been beset by corruption, conflict and scandal.”

He said the upcoming election provides the choice between the conflicts and corruption of the past or moving forward to build a brighter future.

“We believe that San Diego needs a mayor with the right values and a record that reflects them,” Alvarez said. “We don’t need slick politicians, we need trusted public servants. We are people who stand by our values, who care about each other and come together to find solutions.”

The councilman received an endorsement Friday from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, which funded Filner’s victorious campaign last year. He has championed union causes in the past, including July’s initial passage of a prevailing wage ordinance.

Saldana made a presentation to the labor council Monday, an umbrella group that represents the unions in the region. Fletcher has already received endorsements from individual unions for the city’s white-collar workers and firefighters.

Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre had been expected to file his candidate intention papers Monday, but his name was not included among the list of candidates by early afternoon.

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