News (USA)

San Diego to become the nation’s second largest city with openly gay mayor

SAN DIEGO — Openly gay City Council President Todd Gloria will become interim mayor of San Diego, following the resignation of embattled mayor Bob Filner, who announced Friday that he will step down next week as part of a settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by no fewer than 18 women.

Todd Gloria

Upon Filner’s resignation, effective at 5 p.m. on August 30, San Diego will become the nation’s second largest city to be led by an openly gay mayor. The largest is Houston.

Under the city charter, Gloria, will act as an interim mayor while the city holds a special election in the next 90 days to find a successor.

Gloria — who as president of the city council is already one of the city’s most powerful politicians — was first elected in 2008 and is serving his second term on the council. He said Friday would no longer act as chairman of the council meetings “while I fulfill the duties of the mayor.”

Gloria is expected to consider running in the special election. Other likely openly LGBT candidates are California Assembly member Toni Atkins, former state Senator Christine Kehoe, and Carl DeMaio, a former city council member who ran against Filner in last year’s mayoral race.

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Filner’s resignation comes following a chaotic eight months in office, capped by allegations last month that he had sexually harassed women, complaints which alleged “inappropriate comments, kissing and groping.”

Filner, 70, was San Diego’s first Democratic mayor in two decades, and is facing a criminal investigation into his treatment of women.

Gloria, 35, is a third generation San Diegan and former chairman of the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

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