San Diego, CALIF. – News that former mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan had a recent meeting with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, about the possibility of him running for governor in 2018, backs up word that IVN San Diego has received from sources within City Hall.
Riordan is quoted in the Politico report that Faulconer asked for his support last month in his bid for the top spot in the state.
IVN San Diego has been told by multiple sources close to the mayor’s office that Faulconer’s chief of staff, Stephen Puetz, is “already embarking on Faulconer’s statewide campaign for governor.”
IVN reached out to Mayor Faulconer’s communications chief, Matt Awbry, three days before Christmas, inquiring about possible staff changes related to Faulconer’s push for governor. Awbry responded with this e-mail, “The premise of your email is news to me. To which staff changes are you referring? There are no plans for Stephen Puetz to leave the office. Should you have any legitimate questions, let me know.”
Understanding politics and the fact it was an election season, Faulconer swept aside any notion during the campaign last June that he would be entering the governor’s race in 2018. He emphatically made the point on live television during the three candidate debates that he was 100% committed to serving the full 4-year term as mayor. He reassured voters of those plans again in an interview with the Union-Tribune Editorial Board.
For a mayor who plays his cards so close to his chest on any and every issue, it comes as no surprise that Faulconer would publicly deny any such speculation. And it would be an even bigger shock if the mayor were to use the State of the City address on January 12, to officially announce his candidacy for governor.
As for the race, no other Republican has said he or she will run for governor.
Several Democrats have already raised millions of dollars for the contest to succeed Governor Jerry Brown.
Faulconer held the support of 16 percent of registered voters in a November Field Poll, second to Democrat Gavin Newsom, but ahead of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang.
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