Councilwoman Marti Emerald discusses decision to retire

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald said Wednesday her battle against breast cancer played no role in her decision not to seek reelection next year.

“It’s just time. I want to focus on my health, my life…I’d like to travel,” she said to neighbors and fellow politicians at a press conference Wednesday in City Heights.

Emerald was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and has been undergoing treatment that caused her to lose her hair, which has been growing back recently. The physical impact of her treatments has caused Emerald to miss occasional City Council meetings.

“It’s just time to turn a page to a new chapter in my life,” Emerald said.

“It has been my extreme honor and privilege to serve, it’s just been a highlight of my life,” the former television troubleshooter said. “And we still have a year and a half to go, so I’m not gone yet.”

Emerald represents a stretch of the city that runs from San Diego State University to Southcrest, including many economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Her District 9 was created in time for the 2012 election, which she won handily.

Emerald is hoping her now chief of staff, Ricardo Flores, will take the seat. Born and raised in District 9, Flores says he can continue Emerald’s momentum.

“I can jump in day one and get the job done,” he said.

Next year’s election cycle will feature at least three open seats: hers and those of Council President Sherri Lightner and Councilman Todd Gloria, who are being termed-out.

The seats of Councilmen Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman are also up for grabs next year.

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