SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, landed a major endorsement for his mayoral bid Tuesday when City Council President Tony Young called him the best candidate for all of San Diego.
Young said he attended more than 10 debates, spoke to Filner and his opponent, Councilman Carl DeMaio, and talked to his constituents before deciding to publicly back the 10-term congressman.
"I've come to the conclusion that he is not only the best choice for me and my constituents but in the end the best-suited person to serve as San Diego's next mayor," Young said at a news conference.
Filner has been "a good partner and a strong advocate for the residents of Southeast San Diego and particularly the Fourth (Council) District," Young said. He said he has worked with Filner on numerous projects in his council district.
Young said one of his top priorities was improving education and Filner had the best plan. Filner is a former college professor and member of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.
Filner said the endorsement was humbling because Young brings "civility, he brings elegance and eloquence to the City Council."
At a separate event, the DeMaio campaign continued to hammer away at Filner, an ex-councilman, for missing votes. The campaign distributed copies of a 1992 U-T San Diego article that said the City Council voted to excuse his absences from meetings so he would not be removed from the panel under provisions of the City Charter.
Filner was elected to Congress for the first time two months later. DeMaio says his opponent has missed 60 percent of the roll call votes in the House of Representatives this year.
"Bob Filner has repeatedly shown a selfish sense of entitlement," DeMaio said. "He doesn't think the rules apply to him. Working families have to show up to their job and follow the rules."
Filner, who previously said his voting record was strong in previous years, called the issue "a distraction" and "trivial."
Young said his council colleague needs to focus on the issues and not "smear reputations."