Stephen Whitburn, candidate for San Diego City Council in District 3.
Stephen Whitburn, candidate for San Diego City Council in District 3. Photo via whitburnforcouncil.com

The former executive director of San Diego Pride announced Tuesday his 2020 candidacy for the San Diego City Council District 3 seat.

Stephen Whitburn, 54, ran for the seat in 2008 in hopes of succeeding the termed-out Toni Atkins, who’s now a state senator.

Whitburn, who finished second in the primary and went on to lose to Todd Gloria in the general election by a margin of 54.6 to 45.4 percent, said his previous bid makes him better equipped to run a second time.

He currently works for the American Cancer Society, overseeing philanthropic efforts for cancer patients throughout Southern California.

“We live in a beautiful city with vibrant neighborhoods, a bustling downtown and iconic Balboa Park,” said Whitburn, who has launched a campaign website. “Still, there are problems that have yet to be solved. Housing prices have soared, homelessness has increased, hard-working people struggle to make ends meet and our neighborhoods need attention.”

District 3 encompasses downtown San Diego as well as surrounding areas such as Balboa Park, Hillcrest, North Park, South Park and University Heights. Councilman Chris Ward currently represents the district and is eligible to serve one more four-year term.

Whitburn is a registered Democrat, as is Ward. The council is technically nonpartisan.

“Our city is at a crossroads,” Whitburn said. “We need strong leaders who will work with the people they represent and with each other to build consensus and move towards solutions.”

This district includes Downtown, Balboa Park, and the neighborhoods of Bankers Hill, Golden Hill, Hillcrest, Little Italy, Middletown, Mission Hills, Normal Heights, North Park, Old Town, Park West, South Park, and University Heights.

Whitburn told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: “It feels great to begin this campaign with the support of so many both in our LGBT community and in the broader community. We have a lot to do to address homelessness, housing, and neighborhood issues, and I know that together we’ll rise to the challenge.”

— City News Service contributed to this report.