SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The frontrunner in San Diego's mayoral campaign drew harsh words Wednesday from the current holder of the office, while two challengers picked up endorsements.
In a news conference to announce revisions to his proposed budget, Mayor Jerry Sanders congratulated council members Tony Young, Todd Gloria and Lorie Zapf for their assistance but blasted their colleague, Carl DeMaio, who has criticized parts of the spending plan.
DeMaio, who is not running for re-election to the council so he can concentrate on the mayor's race, disagrees with Sanders' assessment that the city's structural budget deficit is now resolved.
"I'm not a candidate for anything, so I don't have to make up things, I don't have to be on a political doomsday tour to make people think it's worse than it actually is," Sanders said. "I want to be very clear that one council member has to have doom and gloom in order to be elected to mayor, but I'm not buying into that and I don't think the people in San Diego are, either."
DeMaio leads among the four major candidates -- District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who is now an independent -- in polling leading up to the June 5 primary election.
Sanders' harshest words came in response to a question about DeMaio taking credit for $155 million in city budget reforms.
"He probably takes credit for my weight loss, he probably takes credit for the weeds I pulled in the backyard last week. It's all bulls---," Sanders said.
The three council members who stood with Sanders smiled and chuckled at his remarks.
DeMaio later said it should be chalked up to "silly season" in the waning weeks of the campaign.
"I don't care about credit. I'm just thrilled our fiscal reform agenda is working for taxpayers," DeMaio said. "We all can celebrate and be proud of that we have made this much progress without a tax increase."
The councilman said he looks forward to finishing the job of fiscal reform as mayor, should he be elected. He said he would present another spending plan upon taking office to fully fund road repairs and restore more services.
In other campaign developments, Dumanis, who is endorsed by Sanders, received the backing of Keith Slotter, the former head of the FBI office in San Diego.
"Bonnie knows how to work with communities to solve neighborhood issues and get things done," Slotter said. "She's done that with crime prevention the past nine years, and she'll bring that same toughness and spirit of collaboration to the mayor's office."
Fletcher, meanwhile, was endorsed by the founder of San Diego's Earth Fair, Carolyn Chase, and other environmental leaders.
At a news conference, the assemblyman who recently left the Republican Party said he would make an annual "State of the Environment" address. He said he would also have an environmental dashboard to measure the city's progress on such issues.
Law enforcement agencies across San Diego County are planning to crack down on drunken driving over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.
A two vehicle crash left one person critically injured Friday in Emerald Hills, according to authorities.
Some of the smartest high school students in San Diego County will be in Atlanta this weekend competing in the National Quiz Bowl Championship.
Californians Aware, a statewide group that advocates for government transparency, Friday expressed concern over a soon-to-take- effect San Diego Unified School District policy to delete most emails after one year.
Millions of Southern Californians will be taking to the roads and airways Friday as the Memorial Day travel crunch goes into high gear, and the large crowds will likely test the patience of motorists and airline passengers.
Several good Samaritans, including a grandmother, disregarded their own safety today when they helped subdue and disarm a knife- waving man who attacked the driver of a bus full of schoolchildren in a rural neighborhood in southeastern San Diego County.
An animal known as the San Quintin Kangaroo rat and native to Baja California is back from the brink of extinction.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, San Diego Blood Bank CEO David Wellis today encouraged those who haven't recently donated blood to consider scheduling an appointment.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is famous for its expansive habitats featuring African and Asian species. The all-new Walkabout Australia gives park guests a view into a new region of the world with interesting and unique species.