Dems Split on Filner, But Won't Ask Him to Resign

Party Chair Francine Busby said there are mixed feelings among local Democrats, so a meeting was held Thursday evening

After three hours of debate and two votes, the San Diego County Democratic Party has decided they won't be asking embattled Mayor Bob Filner to resign.

The San Diego County Democratic Central committee met Thursday evening to discuss the allegations of sexual harassment against Filner.

Votes on whether to recall Filner were tallied, and split right down the middle, with 24 votes both ways. With votes in, the party announced they will not recall Filner, and will instead let due process run its course.


Before the meeting, party Chair Francine Busby said sexual harassment is unacceptable at any level of government. She said it’s the party’s priority to ensure that the office of the mayor is leading San Diego effectively.

Busby said she called the meeting as a forum to discuss this issue that has the party split. It was a closed meeting, meaning only the governing board was allowed inside, though Filner was invited.

This meeting was meant to serve has a sounding board -- Busby says, a chance to try to figure out how the party will stand and the possible implications associated with what has transpired.

She said it has been sad and frustrating for everyone who worked hard for 20 years to have a democratic mayor but wouldn't call it chaos.

However, she did admit before the meeting that the party seemed to be equally split between those who want Filner to resign and those who feel he is entitled to due process.

“I can tell you I am on the phone nonstop and people feel very strongly but there are mixed feelings about it. So, I'm going to have to let them speak for themselves,” she said.

Francis Barraza, Executive Director of the Republican Party of San Diego County, issued a statement immediately after the vote saying this should not be a partisan issue.

"Democrats have shown that they care more about preserving political power than standing up for women who have been victimized. San Diego deserves better," Barraza said in the prepared statement.

The mayor released a flyer Thursday, vowing to move forward with city business as a recall effort to get him out of office, moves forward.  He has also said he will not resign.

Meanwhile, Filner was seen Thursday night at the Black Mountain Democratic Club speaking to a group of people.

Even the club's president was surprised the mayor appeared.

"Regardless of what you think he did show up," said Michael Wray with the Black Mountain Democratic Club. "He's not talking to press but he is at least trying to talk to constituents, people who got him here."

"These are the people who got him elected. He should hear from those people at least- whether he should stay or go," Wray said.

An NBC 7 news crew tried to talk to Filner but he ignored our requests.

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