On the same day Mayor Jerry Sanders will kick off his reelection campaign, Steve Francis took another step closer to mounting his own mayoral bid.

Francis announced the opening of a committee today that will allow him to raise money for a potential run in 2008, a possibility that remained on the political horizon almost immediately after he was defeated by Sanders and Councilwoman Donna Frye in the 2005. It’s very likely that a lion’s share of the money will come from Francis himself, as he spent $2 million on his 2005 race.

In a statement from a group called “Steve Francis for Mayor: Exploratory Committee” faxed over earlier, Francis said today’s step was to begin seeking public input about a possible candidacy.

“My goal is to reach out to my fellow San Diegans and have a conversation with them about what they want and what they need in local government,” he said in the press statement.

Without naming Sanders, he continued by taking a jab at the mayor.

“No progress has been made to rebuild public trust with San Diegans, who are deeply skeptical about how City Hall makes decisions and distrustful of the influence wielded by special interests,” Francis said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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