Kevin Faulconer is reportedly discussing a run for California governor next year, but his top campaign strategist Thursday downplayed any interest the San Diego mayor might have in the race.
A story on the Politico website quoted former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan as saying that Faulconer visited him last month, told him he would run and asked for his support.
According to the article, the San Diego mayor is “tentatively assessing” how supportive Republican donors might be in a state dominated by Democrats, who hold all statewide offices.
Faulconer’s political adviser, Jason Roe, told City News Service that the mayor met Riordan four months ago to discuss a statewide proposition. The article “overstates” Faulconer’s interest, Roe said.
Faulconer said he would serve his full four-year term during last year’s mayoral campaign, in which he was easily reelected in a city with a wide Democratic voter registration advantage.
State GOP leaders have viewed Faulconer as a potential gubernatorial candidate for the last year or so because of his moderate views and ability to attract votes across party lines. He would follow the footsteps of former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson, who became a U.S. senator and then was elected governor.
“I don’t know that he’s ever had an ‘interest’ other than people around the state keep promoting it,” Roe said. “In a solid year, we’ve had one real conversation about it, which was six weeks ago, and it was more like `what do you think?’ as opposed `should I do this?”‘
Politico reported that Faulconer met two months ago with a group of more than 100 donors who are high-tech leaders in the Silicon Valley. Former Bay Area congressman Tom Campbell, who organized the meeting, said the San Diego mayor was noncommittal about running.
— City News Service
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