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San Diego
Monday, May 20, 2024
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Sanders Announces Run for Mayor

Jerry Sanders, who served as the city of San Diego’s chief of police from 1993 to 1999, on Tuesday announced his intentions to run for mayor.

A day earlier, the City Council set July 26 as the date of the primary election to find a replacement for Mayor Dick Murphy. Last week, Murphy announced his resignation, effective July 15, following more than a year of political and financial upheaval.

Asked why he would aspire to the job, in light of all the turmoil swirling around City Hall these days, Sanders joked, “I’m not that bright. I’ve heard that a lot today.”

But Sanders said that he’s dealt with challenges many times over the course of his varied careers.

Sanders left the Police Department in 1999 to become president and chief executive officer of the United Way of San Diego County. It was during a period when the agency was under fire for what his bio refers to as its “bloated bureaucracy and a decline in contributions.”

He was appointed to the board of the beleaguered American Red Cross San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapters after the local CEO was fired by the national headquarters following complaints over the distribution of funds raised for victims of the Alpine fire in 2001. He is currently chairman of the board.

“I’ve had experience making turnarounds,” he said. “I think I have the ability to bring people to the table. I am very inclusive. I admit that it’s not just me making changes. It takes a broad coalition.”

Sanders also admitted that he had initial qualms about the strong mayor system that will be starting a five-year test in January 2006.

“As a police chief, I preferred to work with the city manager,” he said, “because it shielded me from politics, and I could put in long-term solutions. But given the fact that we have a strong-mayor form now, we can put something in place to allow us to do the things we need. Now, I will make it work.”

So, no misgivings about throwing his hat in the proverbial ring?

“I am passed that point,” said Sanders. “I sat down with my wife and two daughters. I have no misgivings whatsoever.”

The formal filing period doesn’t open until May 13, when candidates may take out papers, according to election officials. The filing period begins May 20 and ends May 27.

Pat Broderick

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