I sat down for an extended interview with Mayor Jerry Sanders at the end of last week; I’ll be using the material from that interview as the foundation for at least one or two campaign stories here in the coming weeks.
But before I do that, I wanted to share with you a few interesting tidbits from our conversation.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was Sanders’ campaign headquarters itself. In 2005, his campaign office was a nice little place in Bankers Hill. This year, it’s an unfinished storefront in a strip mall on Murphy Canyon and Clairemont Mesa roads. The concrete floor is filled with stacked signs and there’s a small back office. We sat around a couple of plastic tables for the interview. I asked him about the new digs.
“It’s much more of a bare-bones operation this year,” Sanders said.
We’ve documented his trouble in raising funds. But he added some new information that we hadn’t heard yet: He has a list of about 1,000 people in the development community from whom he won’t be accepting campaign donations.
In an apparent nod to the Sunroad scandal, he said he won’t be accepting donations from anyone with business before the city. That’s certainly shortened the list of possible donors for a man that relied heavily on the development and building communities in his first campaign.
The mayor also caught my attention by saying that it took weeks of deliberating with his family last summer to decide if he was going to run for reelection. He said the job isn’t fun. “This is the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said.
I also asked him what he would’ve said if someone told him when he was first elected that the city would still be banished from Wall Street when he began his reelection campaign.
“I wouldn’t have believed it,” he replied.