SAN DIEGO--Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana signed up Friday as a possible candidate for mayor to finish the final three years of Bob Filner's term.
Like all candidates, Saldana has until Sept. 20 to return nomination papers to the city clerk with enough signatures for a place on the ballot. The election is set for Nov. 19.
If Saldana runs, she could be the only woman and the fourth Democrat among the big-name candidates.
Only one major Republican candidate has emerged: Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, who lost in November to Filner, on Tuesday announced that he would continue his race for the GOP nomination for Congress rather than make a second attempt at becoming mayor.
The next day, the conservative editorial page of the U-T San Diego newspaper praised DeMaio for "mature statesmanship" for putting "his party and his city first." It then endorsed him for Congress.
Saldana, 55, served three terms in the Assembly. Termed out, Saldana ran for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 52nd District last year. She was beaten by former Councilman Scott Peters, who then defeated GOP incumbent Brian Bilbray.
Although the mayor's post is nonpartisan, Republican and Democratic leaders attempted to make sure that only one major candidate from their party enters the race. The Republicans proved more successful than the Democrats.
Democrats have an edge in voter registration within the city limits: 40% Democrats, 26% Republicans, 27% decline-to-state. His party's edge helped Filner become the city's first Democratic mayor in two decades.
But an election with a lower voter turnout than last year's ballot, which included a presidential race with a popular Democratic incumbent, could favor a Republican candidate for mayor, particularly if Democrats split their votes between candidates, according to political consultants.
If no candidate receives more than 50%, a runoff will be held between the two top vote-getters, early next year.