So, Scott Peters officially announced his candidacy for city attorney this morning on a patch of grass outside a new library in University City. His press conference attracted a healthy crowd, including a couple of dozen kids carrying brightly painted banners proclaiming statements like “Kids love Scott.”

Peters spent much of his press conference chastising incumbent Mike Aguirre for his “silliness” and what Peters said was Aguirre’s use of the City Attorney’s Office for personal political gain.

“You know, it’s fitting that we’re here, next to a rec center that provides after-school programs that give kids adult supervision after school, because that’s exactly what the City Attorney’s Office needs right now, some adult supervision,” Peters said. “Mike Aguirre has turned one of the most important offices in this city into a playground of politics, posturing and plain dysfunction.”

Peters touched briefly on his own often-rocky tenure on the City Council. In 2002, Peters cast a vote in favor of a pension deal that further compounded the pension system’s deficit and has since led to state and federal criminal charges against former pension officials. In his speech, Peters was blunt about that vote.

“Six years ago, I supported a pension funding program that I thought would help protect vital services by deferring pension costs. I was wrong,” he said.

But Peters sought to portray his vote as a momentary lapse of judgment that has since been eclipsed by numerous successes during his tenure. The pension system is now healthy, he argued, and Peters told me in an interview after his speech that he believes the pension system is in better shape now that before he took office.

That’s an assessment that’s going to receive a lot of scrutiny in the coming months as this race really starts to heat up.

Check back later this evening for a full story.

WILL CARLESS

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