SAN DIEGO -- Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Majority Leader of the California Assembly, announced Sunday that she would not be running for Mayor of San Diego.
Atkins was Acting Mayor of San Diego from July 18 to Dec. 5, 2005 at the height of the last major city crisis and made history as the first LGBT politician to helm the eighth-largest city in the U.S. She took over following the resignations of embattled Mayor Dick Murphy during the city’s pension crisis and then Acting Mayor Michael Zucchet, who quit three days into his leadership after being convicted in a corruption scandal involving strip clubs. Zucchet would eventually be cleared off all charges.
Current Mayor Bob Filner said late last week that he will resign at 5 pm Friday, Aug. 30. The city charter mandates that the City Council President will become Acting Mayor, so Todd Gloria will take over at 5:01 pm Friday. Gloria will become the second LGBT politician to take over America's Finest City during a crisis, and will hold the office until a new Mayor is elected.
Atkins issued this statement on Sunday:
“In the past few weeks many people have contacted me encouraging me to run for Mayor of San Diego should the office become vacant. Now that Mayor Filner has resigned, I wanted to share with you my decision – reached after much careful consideration – that I will not be a candidate for Mayor.
"I am deeply committed to helping the city heal and move forward. But I also take very seriously my responsibility to the people who elected me to represent the 78th Assembly District in Sacramento and to my colleagues in the Assembly, whom I have the privilege of serving as Majority Leader.
"The simple truth is that I love the job I have now — being able to help advance San Diego’s interests and concerns in the Legislature and being able to have a statewide impact on vital issues like increasing access to health care, growing our economy and honoring the debt we owe to our veterans.
"I want to sincerely thank everyone who encouraged me to run. I am deeply honored to have your trust and respect and I share your faith that we can move San Diego past these difficult times.”
Atkins joins City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in declining to run for Mayor.
The first two mayoral candidates are two men who ran last time: Tobiah Pettus, who trailed badly, and Nathan Fletcher, who finished third behind Filner and Carl DeMaio, and failed to make the runoff. Fletcher later quit the Republican Party and registered as an Independent during the 2012 mayoral campaign, then declared himself a Democrat after the election was over.