SAN DIEGO - City Councilman David Alvarez's mayoral bid got a boost this weekend with an endorsement by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.
Alvarez is one of 19 candidates who on Friday filed their intentions to run to replace disgraced former mayor Bob Filner. As many as two dozen people may be planning a race for the Nov. 19 special election.
Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Richard Barrera said, "Our members took a hard look at all of the candidates and decided that David is the best choice to move San Diego forward, past distraction and scandal at City Hall, and to get our city refocused on creating good jobs and delivering the vital services residents need."
Alvarez, 33, was elected to the city council three years ago. The labor leaders said he had focused on budget and finance issues and helped the city reduce retiree health care costs.
Also in the running are City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who picked up an endorsement from the California Restaurant Association, San Diego chapter, and New Majority, a Republican group that supports business interests; and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who has been endorsed by the city's lifeguards, the union representing firefighters and white collar workers and several Latino office-holders.
Alvarez, Faulconer and Fletcher pulled papers for the two-week nominating period that began Friday. The papers need to be returned with 200 valid signatures from registered voters by Sept. 20.
Other candidates who have pulled papers are former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana; website owner Tobiah Pettus; Farrah Pirahanchi, whose LinkedIn page says she's the president of Pioneer, an engineering firm; gun rights advocate Lincoln Pickard; Kurt Schwab, who founded an organization for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; Mark Schwartz, a Libertarian activist who created a Facebook page for his campaign last month; Ali Seaton; and Mathew "Eyeball" Isom, according to the city clerk's office.
Others who have pulled out papers include Michael Kemmer, whose LinkedIn page says he's an IT intern at Sempra Energy; Toby Joe Lewandoski; Chad McKinney; accountant Teresa Miucci; lawyer Hud Collins, a frequent speaker at City Council meetings; Bruce Coons, head of the preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation; Paul Michael Dekker, whose website says is director of information technology at the San Diego-based nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute; and Harry J. Dirks, a La Jolla Realtor.
Also apparently intending to run are Marcus Dunlap; physician Steven Greenwald; James Grogan; Fred Charles Hill; Aaron Hudson; and Jared Mimms, who says on his LinkedIn page that he has founded or co-founded four companies, psychiatrist Ashok Parameswaran; Kevin Swanson; David Tasem, who operates a taxicab business; and Keith Wong.
Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has told multiple news outlets that he also plans to run.