Saldaña to challenge Faulconer

Will hotel leases, mayor’s lobbyist aides, and stadium subsidy prove controversial?

Lori Saldaña and Kevin Faulconer
  • Lori Saldaña and Kevin Faulconer

San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer, widely considered a shoo-in for reelection this year, has picked up a well-known left-of-center opponent in the form of ex-assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, according to a January 22 candidacy intention statement on file with the city clerk.

Reached by phone, campaign treasurer Simon Mayeski said Saldaña’s official kick-off is set for this coming Thursday, January 28, at the Grassroots Oasis, 3130 Moore Street, in the Midway District.

Scott Peters

Scott Peters

Termed out of the legislature in 2012, Saldaña took on wealthy ex–San Diego city councilman Scott Peters in a bitter battle for the 52nd congressional seat then held by Republican Brian Bilbray.

Liberal Super PAC Progressive Kick ran attack ads going after Peters, the eventual victor, for flip-flopping on his backing of entitlement programs, a charge denied by Peters aide Mary Anne Pintar.

San Diego residents Lawrence and Suzanne Hess, owners of Lehbros Limited real estate firm, have given a total of $130,000 to the liberal super PAC.

Bob Filner

Bob Filner

For his part, Peters was endorsed by then-congressman Bob Filner.

“Congressman Filner’s endorsement was a great surprise, and a tremendous honor,” said Peters in May 2012 statement. “Bob has been a forceful advocate for our region, for our veterans, for civil rights and for Democratic causes throughout his esteemed career in public service.”

During the sexual harassment scandal that brought down Filner as San Diego mayor in the summer of 2013, Saldaña told KGTV TV news that she had warned Democratic party official Jess Durfee about previous sexual harassment allegations against Filner:

"Not taking no for an answer when he wanted to ask someone out," she said of the embattled mayor.

"Getting a little too close into their personal space."

Francine Busby

Francine Busby

Party chair Francine Busby told the station: "Jess Durfee did follow up. He asked Lori to have the women contact him personally, so he could follow up, and none of the women did."

Though currently regarded by many as unbeatable, a grassroots candidacy against Faulconer might cast a growing light on the close ties of the mayor and his political aides to hotel owners and an array of other special interests who are funding what is shaping up as a multimillion dollar campaign to keep him in office.

UPDATE 1/25 3:20 p.m.

Saldaña has said she changed her registration to no preference in 2014.

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Lori Saldana, Cinderella step-child of the San Diego County Democratic Party, decides to run for Mayor at the eleventh hour. Just amazing. KPBS Midday Edition today had an interview with coy Democratic Party chair Francine Busby and County Labor Council firebrand Mickey Kasparian who alluded to an unnamed female candidate whose name would be announced shortly. Voila, it has come to pass!

Kasparian, who probably appreciates Lori's progressive credentials, expressed regret that Dem Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Dem State Senator Marty Block had decided to duke it out for his State Senate seat rather than have former City Councilmember Atkins run against Mayor Sunny. I didn't hear the whole interview, but I recall that Busby warmly had ushered former Republican Nathan Fletcher into the Democratic Party and she's probably sad that Irwin Jacobs' boy Nathan is nowhere to be seen in the coming mayoral contest.

Kasparian stated unequivocally that Labor will not be supporting centrist Dem Congressman Scott Peters in his next re-election bid because Peters voted in favor of the NAFTA-ish TransPacificPartnership (TPP) trade deal with many Asian countries. This will of course once again open the door to the possibility of a Republican congressman from that swing congressional district that includes La Jolla.

Where do I register as an Independent?

Right here: I switched from Democrat to Independent years ago. We have a better dental plan, so come on over! ;-)

Oh please, Falconer has all the connections and will be Mayor as long as he wants to. After Filner having a Democrat as mayor has about as much chance as Rand Paul has of becoming president. Waste of time and money.

Let's just remember what progressive rag CityBeat had to say about Lori Saldana.'s-silence.html

If this is the best the Democratic Party has to offer to challenge Kev, then wow.

I also found her to be personally dishonest with me on a very minor matter, and for reasons I have never been able to fathom. Like CityBeat, I liked and supported her. Hard to understand what's behind her sore winner sensitivity.

Lori Saldana is brave and idealistic and has a mile-wide martyr's streak, but as a candidate she will get to talk tough about Mayor Sunny. I'd forgotten that she disenrolled from the Democratic Party. Probably she got her teeth whitened on dwbat's Indy dental plan. ;-)

I wish they did cover teeth whitening, or I would have done it. [I still vote all-Democrat, by the way. Just like to think for myself.]

Tired of these career politicians who have nothing better to do than to run for any available public office position. Get a real job.

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