San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is mulling the idea of entering the race to be California's next governor, a personal spokesperson for Faulconer told NBC 7 on Friday.
Faulconer was elected mayor during a February 2014 special election to fill the void left by then-Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned in August 2013, two months before pleading guilty to criminal charges. Faulconer was re-elected to a second term in the summer of 2016.
“Mayor Faulconer has received an outpouring of encouragement to shakeup Sacramento, and is strongly considering running for Governor of California," said Matt Awbrey, Faulconer's personal spokesperson and former Chief of Civic and External Affairs.
The announcement of Faulconer's potential run for governor follows his recent Twitter interactions pointing the spotlight on current Governor Gavin Newsom's attendance at an in-person birthday party at a high-end French restaurant earlier this month in Northern California.
Faulconer's criticism continued this week following Governor Newsom's announcement of a limited stay at home order and overall handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Awbrey's statement also touted Faulconer's work done while in office as another reason for a possible attempt to fill the seat of the state's highest legislator.
"As the leader of the state’s second largest city and a reformer with proven results on everything from reducing homelessness to paving roads, Mayor Faulconer has heard from people across the state who want leadership that looks out for hardworking Californians suffering during this pandemic and helps California come back stronger," Awbrey said.
NBC 7 political reporter Danny Freeman asked Faulconer just two weeks ago whether or not he was considering a gubernatorial campaign. Faulconer responded, "to be continued."
Mayor Faulconer’s term as San Diego mayor will end in December. His seat will be filled by Todd Gloria, who was elected in this month's general election and also has an extensive history in San Diego city hall.
While there has not been any official announcement and no political filing forms have been submitted with the California Secretary of State by Faulconer, there are already 20 individuals who have submitted Statements of Intention for the 2022 Governor's race, including Newsom, San Diego County businessman John Cox, who ran on the 2018 election ticket against Newsom, as well as former California State Treasurer John Chiang.