SAN DIEGO -- City Councilmember Carl DeMaio launched his campaign for mayor of San Diego on Sunday in Rancho Bernardo, the heart of his City Council district.
DeMaio, an openly gay Republican, made his announcement to a crowd of 200 supporters, saying that he would focus on making city government work for San Diegans once again.
“Unfortunately, the dreams of our city have been held hostage because our city government is in a complete state of deficit, dysfunction and disrepair,” DeMaio said.
DeMaio said San Diegans are tired of empty rhetoric and broken promises and pointed to the solutions outlined in his 80-page “Roadmap to Recovery” as the only comprehensive proposal to reform city government and restore community services.
“We have a comprehensive plan to fix San Diego’s financial problems and make city government work again for the people – and I’m running for mayor so we can implement that plan,” he said.
The mayoral race to replace the Jerry Sanders, who is termed out, has already heated up. State Sen. Christine Kehoe, a Democrat who lives in North Park, said on Friday that she would explore running for mayor. And state Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, a Republican representing northern San Diego, Poway and Escondido, also declared on Sunday that he was running for mayor and launched a website.
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, has already launched a website for her mayoral campaign. Congressman Bob Filner, D-San Diego, is also considering a run for mayor.
DeMaio released his “Roadmap to Recovery” in November in the wake of voters’ rejection of Proposition D, a sales tax increase which DeMaio played a key role in defeating. Since then, DeMaio has held a series of town hall meetings across the city to discuss his proposals with the public.
“The message we are hearing is clear: San Diegans are ready to do their part to fix their city government, and they are ready to support the reforms laid out in the Roadmap,” he said.
DeMaio concluded his announcement by asking the crowd to join his reform effort.
“It’s time to Clean Up City Hall. Are you ready?” DeMaio said. “I want to make sure the special interest lobbyists and government union bosses hear us: Are you ready?”
Before his election to the City Council in 2008, DeMaio owned several small businesses including a successful public policy think tank that focused on reforming government through the principles of performance, transparency, competition and accountability. He was an early critic of the widespread waste and inefficiency at the city and published several reports including the "San Diego Citizens' Budget Plan" in 2004, which outlined much-needed reforms.
To learn more about DeMaio’s campaign, visit his website.