Kelvin Barrios said: “I have made mistakes; I came forward and owned up to them.” Campaign photo

San Diego City Council candidate Kelvin Barrios, who is under fire for financial irregularities, announced Monday he is ending his campaign for District 9.

“It is with a deep heart and heavy soul that today I announce that I will be suspending my campaign,” said Barrios in a statement. “While this decision wasn’t taken lightly, I am now sure that it is the right thing to do.”

Barrios is a former aide to City Council President Georgette Gómez, who represents the district now but is running for Congress and will step down after the election.

In August, Barrios issued a public apology for financial errors involving expense reimbursements by the San Diego County Young Democrats five years ago and reporting errors made when he served as the treasurer and campaign manager for a Chula Vista school board candidate.

Since then he has been accused of failing to report income in his election filings. Local labor and Democratic party leaders, including Gomez, have begun withdrawing support as revelations continued.

“I have made mistakes; I came forward and owned up to them,” said Barrios, but he argued that the controversy over his past actions had distracted from more fundamental issues in the race.

“The real struggle and hardships my neighbors are facing became second to the media blitz filled with negativity that just served as a distractor,” he said.

Both Barrios and Sean Elo, a trustee of the San Diego Community College District, will appear on the November ballot. In the March primary, Barrios led Elo by 31.6% to 20.5% in a crowded field that included five other candidates.

The 9th District stretches from Interstate 8 south to the National City line and encompasses Alvarado Estates, the College Area, Kensington, Rolando, City Heights. Mt. Hope, Mountain View, Southcrest and surrounding areas.

Chris Jennewein

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