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More than one reader has remarked on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ recent appearances on national television and wondered if the San Diego mayor is positioning himself for a more high-profile job.

Sanders’ communications director, Darren Pudgil, says the mayor is staying put. “He’s been pretty clear that he has no intention of seeking higher office,” Pudgil said.

In recent weeks, journalists have interviewed the mayor on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the NBC Nightly News.

The mayor has been speaking most often about drug-related violence in Mexico. Could that be a precursor to some type of job in the Department of Homeland Security?

Again, Pudgil said no. He said Sanders, a Republican, has expressed “no interest” in such a job and hasn’t talked to anyone in the Obama administration about a federal post.

Nor did it come up on the mayor’s trip last week to Washington, D.C., Pudgil said. Sanders was one of several mayors invited to discuss transportation priorities with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Sanders also requested and received a briefing on cartel violence from Homeland Security officials, Pudgil said.

Asked who initiated the television appearances, Pudgil said “we’ve reached out some, but more often the media has reached out to us.”

For instance, he said a Fox News producer called to set up an interview with Chris Wallace that aired March 1.

But Pudgil, a former communications director for U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, said he also has “contacts from my days working on Capitol Hill.”

For Sanders’ recent interviews on MSNBC, Pudgil said he “sent an e-mail to one of the producers and let them know if they’re interested in having the mayor on, we would accommodate them if the mayor’s calendar allowed.”

RANI GUPTA

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