Cory Briggs confirmed late Tuesday night that he is ending his campaign for mayor of San Diego. "Four months of campaigning reminds me how much better I am at practicing law than politics," he said in a written statement that he indicated will be his only statement.
Briggs's exit is as surprising as his announcement that he decided to run for mayor the day after Mayor Kevin Faulconer's State of the City speech. In January, Faulconer declared himself a development-loving YIMBY (though he lives in the coastal zone where height limits are protected)- and no one else in power seemed concerned.
It was a move many saw as an attempt by Faulconer to make himself attractive to the state Republican party, but Briggs took it — and the lack of a critical reaction — as a call to arms. “The mayor’s speech was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve been fighting these knuckleheads at city hall since 2002 and they just do one dumb thing after another,” he told me. Briggs talked about homelessness and the city's financial state - including the staggering pension debt and called on the city to increase Transit Occupancy Taxes on hotel guests.
Briggs won support from neighborhoods that the real estate industry and YIMBYs hope to push out of planning and land use discussions. He led the charge against the city council vote to relieve developers of the requirement to provide parking for the multifamily housing they build if it's within a half mile of a bus stop — or the planned site for a transit stop in the next five years.
Last week, he filed a lawsuit to block the ordinance, saying its impacts should have been studied under the California Environmental Quality Act. Briggs never filed nomination papers, but the deadline for November 2020 election falls between 89 and 118 days before the election, more than a year from now. Briggs notified the other declared candidates:
Assemblyman Todd Gloria, City Councilmember Barbary Bry and community advocate Tasha Williamson via text Tuesday but has not yet informed his supporters.