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Mayor Sanders Defends Profanity Against Francis

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Aired 4/19/09

The race between San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his leading opponent, businessman Steve Francis, is heating up. Sanders is defending himself for using a profanity, as he and Francis were leaving a mayoral forum last weekend. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Sanders is quite willing to admit that, instead of shaking Francis's hand as they left the podium at Balboa Park, he used the “F” word to curse his opponent. Francis says he thinks Sanders is etting angry because of the pressure of the competition.

Francis: It was certainly unprofessional and not becoming of the mayor of a big city.

Sanders says he's had plenty of time to prove he is calm under pressure. He says he's angry because Francis's self-funded TV ads are attacking Sanders integrity.

Sanders: If a comment I made between two people offends anybody, I sincerely apologize, but I also spent 37 years building a reputation for integrity and character in San Diego County and I'm not about to let anybody tear that down without letting them know how I feel about it.

The TV ads Francis is funding with his own personal fortune attack Sanders' record as mayor. Sanders campaign won’t have the money to air TV ads until much closer to the election. 

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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