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Emerald Wants Her Chief Of Staff To Take Over San Diego Council Seat

Photo caption:

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Ricardo Flores, chief of staff to San Diego Councilwoman Marti Emerald, announces he will seek her council seat in District 9 next year, April 22, 2015.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who has said she will not seek re-election next year, is giving her support to her chief of staff, Ricardo Flores.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald officially endorsed on Wednesday her chief of staff to replace her on the San Diego City Council.

Last week, Emerald announced she will not be seeking re-election to represent District 9 on the council. The district includes City Heights, the College Area, Kensington, Talmadge, Rolando and Mount Hope.

On Wednesday at the Ridgeview Community Gardens, Emerald stumped for Ricardo Flores. She said Flores' experience working with the City Council makes him the best candidate.

“He’s the one that goes out and builds consensus," Emerald said. "He’s the one who does the behind-the-scenes work to get things done. He’s built a great staff, and with any other candidate, all of that momentum will stop.”

Before joining Emerald’s office, Flores was a community representative for Democratic Rep. Susan Davis.

“Really working with the community day to day, understanding their issues, understanding what their concerns are, understanding what their hopes are, their aspirations are, that’s really important," Flores said.

At this point Flores’ only opponent is attorney Araceli Martinez, who declined to comment. However, the election isn't until June 2016. Flores said he expects many people to run for the seat.

Emerald, who has been battling breast cancer, is serving her second, four-year term on the council. She said her health was not the reason she decided to leave the council.

She was first elected in 2008 but in a different district. In 2012, because of redistricting, she successfully ran in District 9 and was eligible for another term.

Elections will be held next year in five of the city's nine council districts. The open seats are held now by Emerald, Council President Sherri Lightner and Councilman Todd Gloria. Lightner and Gloria are termed out.

Councilmen Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman will be up for re-election next year.

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