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San Diego mayoral race campaign updates with VIDEO

(Editor’s note: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News will begin its 2012 election coverage with weekly campaign updates as the race for San Diego’s next mayor takes shapes. As time progresses, we will also focus on fair and balanced interviews with each candidate and report on campaign events. None of the coverage is an endorsement of any candidate.)

The 2012 mayoral election is a significant one for LGBT San Diegans. Based on the four official candidates, there is a 50 percent chance San Diego will have its first openly gay mayor. If Senator Christine Kehoe makes her candidacy official, the percentage increases to 60 percent.

A brief campaign update is listed in alphabetical order below, including any endorsements announced, for each of the official mayoral candidates.

City Councilmember Carl DeMaio: Officially announced his candidacy on June 5. Since then, he has embarked on an aggressive grassroots fundraising effort, consisting of 25 events in 23 days.

DeMaio’s team has yet to release any official endorsements, but gay rights activist A. Latham Staples has publicly voiced his support. Speaking as a private citizen, and not as the head of the Empowering Spirits Foundation, Staples cited among his many reasons DeMaio’s historical 2008 election in which he took a council seat as a non-incumbent, winning by the widest margin in a primary - with 66 percent of the vote.

"Carl has put constituent service as a top priority in his council office. Refusing to shed his watchdog roots, Carl has worked tirelessly to change the way city government does business," Staples said. "He is a well-respected leader in our community, is tenacious, ethical, and more importantly, has the business experience and the understanding of what is required to reform our city during this troubling time."

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis: Although the first to announce her candidacy, Dumanis won't be officially kicking off her 2012 mayoral campaign until Tuesday, June 28, with her first fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Official endorsements, however, have already begun.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced his endorsement for Dumanis on June 8, stating that she is "the best choice to make sure efforts to reform city government continue to move forward." Watch the video:

Briefly a mayoral candidate himself, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer was the first to drop out of the race, and has since endorsed Dumanis; repeating Sanders’ claim that she is the best candidate to move the city forward.

"We may not agree on everything, but I trust Bonnie. She has the experience you need to succeed as mayor, and she is able to bring people together to build a better San Diego," Faulconer said. "In addition to her success in refocusing a complex organization like the District Attorney’s Office, she is a former Superior Court judge whose ethics and legal expertise can help guide us through these next critical years."

Congressman Bob Filner: The latest candidate to toss his hat into the ring, Filner has yet to establish an official website announcing campaign events and endorsements. Although he has been representing the 51st Congressional District since 1992, Filner announced on June 8 that his campaign is an "aggressive effort to bring back City Hall to the people."

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher: The former U.S. Marine made his mayoral announcement two days before Filner. His staff has yet to release any formal endorsements, but like DeMaio, Fletcher has already released a list of coalitions working together to help get him elected.

Fletcher was spotted Sunday pressing the flesh at the popular Hillcrest Farmers Market, and several campaign staffers were handing out flyers to shoppers.

An avid racer, Fletcher is encouraging all of his supporters to join the Fletcher Racing Team and take part in the Scripps Ranch 41st annual 4th of July Parade.

To submit questions you would like to see the candidates answer, request coverage of a campaign event, or for any inquires regarding campaign coverage in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, please email Staff Writer Esther Rubio-Sheffrey at esther@sdgln.com or call toll-free to (877) 727-5446 x711.

As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. All candidates are allowed to submit two pieces per month for our Commentary page. Williams can be reached at (877) 727-5446, x713.