SAN DIEGO — Scratch San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer from the list of possible successors to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who announced Thursday that she will not seek reelection next year.
Faulconer caught the attention of state and national GOP leaders when he was elected mayor, and his name was the first on a list of potential GOP candidates published by the Sacramento Bee — and compiled by a former U-T San Diego political reporter.
Faulconer, however, said he wasn’t interested.
My focus is on leading San Diego and continuing to write our city's comeback story.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) January 8, 2015
Faulconer, 47, served two terms on the City Council before winning a special election in February to replace disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner.
Though often successful in San Diego area elections, Republicans have come up short in runs for statewide office over the past dozen or so years, winning only in exceptional cases, such as when ex-Gov. Gray Davis was recalled.
Boxer, a 74-year-old who first came to prominence in Marin County and now lives in the desert city of Rancho Mirage, said in an online video that she plans to focus on her PAC for Change to help make sure the Senate remains progressive. She wants to see a Democratic president elected in 2016 too.
Other potential GOP candidates on the SacBee list include former gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, onetime Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Among the Democrats being talked about are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
“We really want to have someone there who’s going to fight for the middle class, consumer protection, kind of you know progressive outlook because that does reflect our state,” said Boxer.
Political analyst Carl Luna said San Diego’s political landscape could change with Boxer’s decision not to run for reelection.
“Possibly, the Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins,” said Luna. “If Faulconer had decided to run for the Senate, Todd Gloria may have want to be mayor or does he want to go into the state assembly?
“There’s a lot of new variables thrown in by Boxer’s top seat opening.” Luna added.