Former state legislator Lori Saldana Thursday formally announced her bid to challenge incumbent Kevin Faulconer for mayor of San Diego.
Saldana enters the race as an independent. She left the Democratic Party in 2014 following disputes with local leaders and a growing antipathy for party politics.
Faulconer has been all but unopposed since Gretchen Newsom, political director of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in San Diego, ended her campaign in early December for personal reasons.
At a news conference, Saldana called Faulconer "the Dean Spanos of San Diego government," a reference to the unpopular chairman of the Chargers football team, and blasted the mayor's record on infrastructure.
Saldana grew up in Clairemont, graduated from San Diego State University, taught business information technology and coached basketball and field hockey at several schools. She served in the Assembly from 2004-2010.