City Councilwoman Barbara Bry (center) with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Intuit’s Whitney MacDougall at Qualcomm’s headquarters. File photo by Chris Jennewein

City Councilwoman Barbara Bry said Wednesday that if elected mayor she would apply her experience in the high technology industry to governing San Diego.

Bry said her work at ProFlowers and other tech startups taught her how to build a team, meet a budget and create jobs in the innovation economy.

“My background is very different from any other current elected official in this area since I’ve spent most of my career as a businesswoman in the tech sector,” she told Times of San Diego.

Bry, a Democrat who represents District 1, is the first major candidate to announce a mayoral run. The March 2020 primary is 14 months away.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, is in his second and final term. The post is non-partisan, but Democrats hope to win in a city that is trending further to the left.

Bry said the city’s challenges include homelessness, affordable housing and congestion, but she said an even bigger issue is the question of “what do we want to be?”

“My vision for San Diego comes out of my years as a high tech entrepreneur and my long-term support for the arts,” she said. “It’s full STEAM ahead — science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”

She said taking this vision to every neighborhood will help San Diego develop a workforce fully adapted to the future.

“The innovation economy has the highest paying jobs,” she explained. “It propels our entire economy, and it provides the tax base that allows us to have the quality of life that we love about San Diego.”

Bry, a native of the Philadelphia area, has a masters degree in business from Harvard University. She was a business reporter for The Los Angeles Times before entering the high tech industry.

She worked for the CONNECT tech incubator, founded Athena San Diego for women in technology and started Run Women Run to encourage women to enter politics. After her election to the City Council in 2016, she was named the council’s president pro tem in 2017.

Others who have been mentioned as potential mayoral candidates include Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Rep. Scott Peters, both Democrats, and on the Republican side, City Councilmen Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.