City employee unions back Fletcher for mayor

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SAN DIEGO — Two city employee unions endorsed former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to replace Bob Filner as mayor of San Diego Thursday.

fletcherThe Municipal Employees Association, the largest of the city of San Diego’s bargaining units, and the union that represents firefighters both threw their support behind Fletcher.

Fletcher is “the clear choice” to move San Diego forward, MEA President Bob Cronk said.

“He has the ability to build coalitions and bring people together, which is exactly what our city needs right now,” Cronk said. “He respects city employees and understands that the delivery of essential city services is paramount.”

Fletcher, now an executive at Qualcomm, finished third in the June 2012 primary.

Fletcher is the only well-known  candidate of the 14 people to have announced that they are running. A special election that could cost the city more than $6 million is scheduled for Nov. 19.

Carl DeMaio, a former councilman who lost to Filner by a couple of points in the November runoff, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to announce if he will run.  He said he wanted to speak to supporters over the holiday weekend before making a final decision. He had been planning a congressional run against Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, next year.

Filner agreed to resign amid accusations that he sexually harassed 19 women, including his former communications aide, who is suing both the mayor and the city for damages. Though he agreed to step down, Filner continues to deny that his actions constitute sexual harassment. He has, however, apologized for mistreating women and sought behavioral therapy.

Filner took office in December and has three years left in office. Under San Diego’s charter, a special election is required no matter the cost because the City Council can appoint a successor only if the outgoing official has less than a year left on his term.

He requested one week in office before officially stepping down. It was unclear what he was doing with his time, and his office has not returned messages.

Council President Todd Gloria will become interim mayor at 5:01 p.m. Friday. No swearing-in ceremonies or other formal transition events are planned.

Gloria has also been mentioned as a potential candidate to complete Filner’s term, along with colleagues David Alverez, Marti Emerald and Kevin Faulconer, Supervisor Ron Roberts and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego.

Other candidates who have filed intention forms are lawyer and frequent speaker at City Council meetings Hud Collins; Bruce Coons, head of the preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organization; Paul Michael Dekker, who, according to his website, is director of information technology at the San Diego-based nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute; La Jolla Realtor Harry J. Dirks; Marcus Dunlap; and Michael Kemmer, whose LinkedIn page says he’s an IT intern at Sempra Energy.

Also intending to run are Jared Mimms, who says on his LinkedIn page that he has founded or co-founded four companies; accountant Teresa Miucci, psychiatrist Ashok Parameswaran; website owner Tobiah Pettus; Kurt Schwab, who founded an organization for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; Mark Schwartz, a Libertarian activist who created a Facebook page for his campaign last month; and David Tasem, who operates a taxicab business.

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