In 2005, former San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy resigned under threat of a recall.
“I now believe to be effective the city will need a mayor who was elected by a majority of the people,” Murphy said at the time.
Before the city’s pension woes buried him, Murphy had just won a narrow, disputed re-election with 34.7 percent of the vote in a three-way runoff over write-in candidate Donna Frye. But Murphy’s plea for a mayor that the majority of San Diegans wanted also fit his decision to leave office on his own rather than have voters throw him out in a recall.
San Diego and beleaguered Democratic Mayor Bob Filner could now face the same situation. If Filner, who’s accused of sexually harassing numerous women, leaves, how he goes matters a lot to determine who replaces him. And that could help explain some of the enthusiasm on the right and lack thereof on the left for the nascent Filner recall effort.