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Businessman Ray Ellis Announces Second Run For City Council

City Council District 1 candidate Ray Ellis.
City Council District 1 candidate Ray Ellis.

Businessman and civic leader Ray Ellis announced Thursday he will make a second try for the San Diego City Council, following his unsuccessful 2012 bid to oust Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.

In his campaign announcement, the 57-year-old Ellis said the city government should focus on customer service.

"When you need the city's assistance you should get clear answers to your questions, just like you'd expect to get from the best retail store," said Ellis, who runs an investment firm and his family's foundation.

"Parks should be clean, ball fields should be well-maintained and libraries should be open at convenient times for families," Ellis said. "These may sound like little things to some, but not to me. To me, they make San Diego better for all of us."

Ellis outpointed Lightner in the June 2012 primary vote but was defeated in the November general election. Lightner, who has since become council president, is being termed-out next year.

Entrepreneur and political activist Barbara Bry announced her candidacy previously for the seat, which represents Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City.

Bry is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures, a firm that invests in fledgling technology companies, and was one of the founders of She also founded Athena San Diego, an organization that supports the advancement of women in the technology and life sciences sectors, and Run Women Run, a nonpartisan organization that encourages and backs women who run for office.

Land use and policy consultant Joe LaCava also is expected to join the race.

Besides his work, Ellis serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, such as the Balboa Park Conservancy, Lux Art Institute and Equinox Center.

Ellis' candidacy is backed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former City Councilman Tony Young.