SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego is still recovering from the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner.

Saturday, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who's running to fill the seat vacated by Filner, spoke about what's next for San Diego during a community forum.

The mood at City Hall is relief, according to Gloria.

He addressed the relief and the optimism ahead for the city as it prepares for a special election with almost two dozen candidates for mayor.

"What we've learned is that one person can do a lot of damage, and so we have to make the right choice this time," Gloria said.

A crowded room at a City Club reception listened as Interim Mayor Todd Gloria laid out what he expects from a crowded field of mayoral candidates.

"I think in the last election, folks felt they didn't have two good choices. I think in this election all of you are going to have multiple really good choices," he said.

By his side was one of the choices for mayor, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who says the candidate count for the November 19 special election is changing by the day.

"I've always expected we were going to have a number of candidates in this race and filing hasn't even closed and I think we're at 20 candidates," he said.

Faulconer is one of at least 22 candidates who are each looking to put former Mayor Bob Filner's tumultuous era behind them.

"Don't focus on all of the dysfunction of the past because we have such a bright future moving forward," he said.

The Republican Councilman joins Democrat David Alvarez as the two council members running for mayor.

Gloria addressed concerns their candidacy may distract from their roles on the council.

"We are going to clean up the mess that's happened and that's going to require every council member's participation and I'm confident that they can do that," Gloria said. "I don't believe they'll short their duties as elected officials."

As the crowd listened to the two men speak -- they heard Gloria and Faulconer talk about the need for less congestion at the border, the expansion of the Convention Center, and the grand opening of the Central Library later this month.

In the end, Gloria said the city's future is bright because for the first time in a while he says city employees are working in a scandal-free city.

"They're all public servants, they all show up every day trying to do what they can to move this city forward and now they know that's all they have to do and if they do their jobs they're going to get support from their mayor," he said.

As for the mayoral race, it's a crowded field for sure, that had seven people file Friday, including Lori Saldana, the field's only female candidate.

The nominating period ends September 20.