Former San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye has definitively ruled out a run for mayor in 2012 and endorsed Democratic candidate Bob Filner.

Frye, a Democrat who failed twice to win the city’s top job, wasn’t expected to try for a third time. But she has a history of last-minute candidacies and, in previous statements, had left the door open to a potential bid. Now, the door is closed.

“I am not running for mayor,” she said in an email to me.

Instead, Frye said she will endorse Filner, a congressman and the lone major Democrat in the race.

Filner wants Frye to handle open government issues, one of her pet concerns when she was in office.

“My first appointment as mayor that we’ll announce when she endorses me is that she’s going to be the ombudswoman for San Diego,” Filner said at a candidate forum in Clairemont Thursday night. “That is, someone who is looking out after the public and the neighborhood interests for transparency and openness and power in the government.”

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Frye said she has spoken with Filner about the “city’s ongoing culture of secrecy,” something she said has increased after San Diegans voted to put the mayor in charge of the city bureaucracy.

“[I]t became clear that obtaining information, even about the simplest things, was going to be more difficult and time consuming,” Frye said. “That needs to change.”

Frye’s conclusive exit from the mayoral stage and her endorsement of Filner provides a big boost to his candidacy.

In a race that features three big-name Republican candidates, Filner has said his party affiliation alone would allow him to reach November’s general election.

But Filner has yet to unify Democrats decisively behind him. Frye’s backing gives him the support of one of the city’s most well-known Democrats and likely clears the field of any potential challenge from the left.

Liam Dillon is a news reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663.

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    This article relates to: Election, Government, Mayor 2012, News
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    Written by Liam Dillon

    Liam Dillon is senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He leads VOSD’s investigations and writes about how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next? Please contact him directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663.

    14 comments
    bruce beyor
    bruce beyor subscriber

    Yes, this is great news. This town is in serious need of getting the sitting old guard out of the way. Same old gang doing the same old thing at our expense. Lets bring in some fresh blood and save this town.

    Grumpy
    Grumpy

    Yes, this is great news. This town is in serious need of getting the sitting old guard out of the way. Same old gang doing the same old thing at our expense. Lets bring in some fresh blood and save this town.

    David Cohen
    David Cohen subscriber

    Much as I would welcome her candidacy, I am afraid Ms. Frye is too smart, too ethical, and too competent to be mayor of this tax-averse cesspool.

    fryefan
    fryefan

    Much as I would welcome her candidacy, I am afraid Ms. Frye is too smart, too ethical, and too competent to be mayor of this tax-averse cesspool.

    Liam Dillon
    Liam Dillon memberadministrator

    "Filner has clearly been the only Democrat against three Republicans in the mayoral race, so the silence is deafening for these prominent San Diego Democrats. Now that they’ve weighed in for Peters, sitting out on Filner reflects a definitively proactive withholding. It’s to be expected in some cases — the personal differences between Schenk and Filner, for example, are well documented by now. But others here don’t have that rationale to fall back on, and many represent especially Democratic, especially safe districts. Some even represent big chunks of Filner’s current constituents while giving Filner a wide, unspoken berth."

    dillonliam
    dillonliam

    "Filner has clearly been the only Democrat against three Republicans in the mayoral race, so the silence is deafening for these prominent San Diego Democrats. Now that they’ve weighed in for Peters, sitting out on Filner reflects a definitively proactive withholding. It’s to be expected in some cases — the personal differences between Schenk and Filner, for example, are well documented by now. But others here don’t have that rationale to fall back on, and many represent especially Democratic, especially safe districts. Some even represent big chunks of Filner’s current constituents while giving Filner a wide, unspoken berth."

    susanf
    susanf subscribermember

    i would prefer Donna Frye as mayor. i'll probably vote for Filner so Donna can be ombudsperson and give the non-deep-pocketed, non-developer citizens a chance at a having a voice in the governance of this benighted city.

    susanf
    susanf

    i would prefer Donna Frye as mayor. i'll probably vote for Filner so Donna can be ombudsperson and give the non-deep-pocketed, non-developer citizens a chance at a having a voice in the governance of this benighted city.

    Diane Edge
    Diane Edge subscribermember

    Big plus for Filner. San Diego needs Frye to be involved with the direction of this sadly managed city and this may be our last chance to get this valuable voice back in City Hall. She can't be bought and this just drives the corrupt power mongers crazy.

    d2voice
    d2voice

    Big plus for Filner. San Diego needs Frye to be involved with the direction of this sadly managed city and this may be our last chance to get this valuable voice back in City Hall. She can't be bought and this just drives the corrupt power mongers crazy.

    John Kroll
    John Kroll subscriber

    pcs: Is the late-night, backroom deal Fletcher engineered to maintain downtown redevelopment an example of his ethical, straightforward behavior? Not to me.

    goodlead
    goodlead

    pcs: Is the late-night, backroom deal Fletcher engineered to maintain downtown redevelopment an example of his ethical, straightforward behavior? Not to me.

    Pat Seaborg
    Pat Seaborg subscribermember

    I'm very disappointed that Donna Frye isn't running. I'll probably vote for either Fletcher, who I am in substantial disagreement with on many issues but at least he seems ethical and straightforward, or boycott the election entirely. Crummy choices.

    pcs
    pcs

    I'm very disappointed that Donna Frye isn't running. I'll probably vote for either Fletcher, who I am in substantial disagreement with on many issues but at least he seems ethical and straightforward, or boycott the election entirely. Crummy choices.


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