Bruce Lightner. Photo via
Bruce Lightner. Photo via

Bruce D. Lightner has pulled papers to run for San Diego City Council in District 1 — in hopes of succeeding his wife, council President Sherri Lightner.

The City Clerk’s Office announced the surprise move Thursday via Twitter.

San Diego City Council president Sherri Lightner. Photo by Chris Stone

“Although I had never considered running for public office before, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring because I feel so strongly about continuing Sherri’s work as an independent, effective voice for our neighborhoods,” Bruce Lightner said in a statement emailed to supporters. Bruce Lightner’s entry in the race brought instant reaction from political observers, including San Diego County Taxpayers Association spokeswoman Rachel Laing.

City Attorney’s Office spokesman Gerry Braun, a former Union-Tribune columnist and longtime political observer, replied to Rachel:

Lightner has exactly a week to collect 100 nominating signatures* and pay a $200 fee — or 1,000 signatures to escape the fee.

Bruce Lightner’s career and personal biography (PDF)

He joins 2012 candidate Ray Ellis, a Republican who lost to Sherri Lightner, and Democrats Barbara Bry and Louis Rodolico (another entry this week).

If Democrats hold the seat, the council is expected to retain its 5-4 Democratic majority. Unless one candidate wins more than 50 percent in the June 7 primary, the top two candidates advance to a runoff in November.

The Lightners, both in their mid-60s, celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary in late January, according to his Facebook account.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

*An earlier version of this story mistakenly said 200 signatures were needed, with a $500 filing fee. That’s for mayoral candidates.