Saying that his primary commitment is to San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer Friday quashed discussion in political circles that he might run for governor.
Faulconer took to his Twitter account to say he planned to finish out his second term.
Political insider talk about Faulconer pursuing executive office in Sacramento has sprung up on an occasional basis since he defeated Councilman David Alvarez in a special mayoral election three years ago. After completing the term of the resigned Bob Filner, he easily won reelection last year.
“I care about our state and I am deeply honored that so many are strongly encouraging me to run for governor,” Faulconer said in his tweet. “It’s a testament to the people of San Diego, and the progress we’ve made to create a fiscally responsible, prosperous city that is moving in the right direction. I made a pledge last year to serve out my second term as mayor, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
He said he wanted to work on his plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center, continue fixing roads and infrastructure, providing affordable housing and expanding the coastal city’s global connections.
“My commitment first and foremost is to San Diego,” he said.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported that California Republican officials, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and state GOP leader Jim Brulte, have been trying “furiously” to push Faulconer into the race.
GOP officials reportedly see him as their strongest potential candidate, since he twice won mayoral elections despite Democrats having an 18-point voter registration edge. While fiscally conservative, he is also seen as moderate on social issues such as immigration.
San Diego is the only city among the 10 largest in population with a Republican mayor.
In January, Faulconer political strategist Jason Roe downplayed Faulconer’s interest in joining the race following a Politico story that he was tentatively assessing support among GOP donors.
Not quite three weeks later, a survey by Public Policy Polling found him running second to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Earlier this month, a UC Berkeley poll of declared candidates found support for the top candidates, Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, topping out at just 22 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The top Republican, businessman John Cox of Rancho Santa Fe, received only 9 percent support.
—City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: