San Diego's special-election race for mayor figures to widen Tuesday with the addition of two major candidates.
Of the 15 people who have filed paperwork so far, only one is a real contender.
Bob Filner resigned as mayor Friday after nine chaotic and scandal-plague months in office.
For the next few months, potentially, the job of chief executive will be carried out on an interim basis by Todd Gloria, having just moved up from Council president.
Now, he's eyeing a run at serving out all the time left in Filner's term. Gloria should get plenty of visibility in the political pinch hitter’s role.
But he'd be crossing paths with serious competition, from the likes of Carl DeMaio, the former Councilman who lost last November’s mayoral race to Filner and is currently a Republican Congressional candidate in California’s 52nd District.
DeMaio is expected to announce his intentions Tuesday, as is Gloria.
"Whoever else is in the race doesn't bear on my decision,” Gloria told reporters Monday at Petco Park, where he was on hand for first-pitch ceremonies involving Medal of Honor recipient S/Sgt. Ty Carter (U.S. Army) before the Padres’ game against the Giants.
“I'm making my decision on what I think is in the best interest of the city,” Gloria added. “Spent the weekend doing that, talking to a lot of folks in addition to learning my new job. And it's been a long weekend and I'm prepared to make a decision tomorrow."
Gloria described input from San Diegans with whom he’s spoken about running for mayor as “generous, really a sigh of relief, it seems, from folks who want to put this bad chapter (the Filner scandal) behind us. I'm here to do that, and I think everyone's anxious and hopeful that better days are here for our city -- and I think that's true."
As for DeMaio, said political consultant John Dadian: "He thinks he can say 'I told you so' to the people who voted for Filner and can move the city forward. So there's no doubt in my mind that he's running for mayor."
On Saturday, DeMaio’s political team released a media advisory which said: “Contrary to a report in Politico, Carl DeMaio is continuing to weigh whether he will enter the Mayor’s race – and is spending the weekend with his family before making a decision. DeMaio has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. to announce a final decision.”
Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher -- who finished third in last year’s mayoral primary after switching from Republican to Independent -- is the frontrunner among those who have filed, having become a Democrat.
Other notable prospects: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, City Councilmembers David Alvarez, Marti Emerald and Kevin Faulconer.
The short time window of the election cycle -- starting November 19th and continuing for up to 49 more days to a runoff, if there’s no majority winner – makes speed of the essence for the cause of raising funds and gathering endorsements.
"We're not looking at a process that will be drawn out a year,” Faulconer said Friday in an interview with NBC 7. “We're looking at a process that will be concluded in a matter of months. That's good news."
Voters interviewed Monday at Petco Park said, in general, that they're looking for proven leadership.
"You've got too many dumb things going on,” Point Loma resident John Perry said. “Let's focus on a couple of things. First of all, the budget -- number one. Maintaining the streets, number two. Let's look at it this way. If we can't work together as Republicans and Democrats, we might as well call ourselves the 'San Diego Dummies'."