SAN DIEGO -
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis endorsed Councilman Carl DeMaio for mayor of San Diego Monday and said she was troubled by what she called "erratic behavior" by his opponent, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego.
"I did not intend to endorse in this race, and have only made endorsements in extraordinary situations," Dumanis told reporters. "However, Bob Filner's troubling pattern of erratic behavior has convinced me he simply lacks the judgment and temperament to be our mayor. Bob Filner is disruptive, disrespectful and demeaning, especially to women."
In the last couple of weeks, Filner has been embroiled in disputes at two debates with DeMaio, one over the ground rules for a forum at UC San Diego and another that led him to call for the resignation of U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.
"This is a critical moment for San Diego, and we cannot afford to see Bob Filner push our city backwards into the dysfunction and division of the past," Dumanis said.
She said DeMaio has demonstrated leadership skills and vision. She and DeMaio recently announced a partnership that they hope will improve student performance at San Diego schools.
In a statement responding to the endorsement, Filner's campaign said Dumanis is the first major county official -- all of whom are Republicans -- to endorse DeMaio.
According to campaign spokeswoman Lena Lewis, all of the major public safety groups and numerous female politicians have endorsed Filner.
"The nearly unanimous support Bob has received from San Diego's women elected officials and women's organizations shows that Ms. Dumanis' personal attack -- parroting the DeMaio party line -- has more to do with currying favor from far-right elements in the Republican Party than it does with the reality of Congressman Filner's long record of support for women and women's issues," Lewis said.
Over the weekend, he received an endorsement from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.
Dumanis finished last among the four major candidates for mayor in the June primary, garnering 13.1 percent of the vote. Recent polls have found the majority of her supporters favoring the congressman in the general election.
A telephone poll conducted late last week by Probolsky Research on behalf of the publication San Diego Metro gave DeMaio a narrow margin over Filner in likely voters of 41.3 percent to 40.5 percent. The rest were undecided or refused to answer.