San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio has taken the first official steps to run for mayor in 2012.

The Republican from Rancho Bernardo filed papers with the City Clerk’s Office this week, making him the first to do so in what is expected to be a crowded field.

DeMaio was elected to City Council in 2008 and has remained a prominent contrarian on the city’s fiscal issues. He’s had high-profile losses and wins in the past year, notably failing to qualify a ballot initiative on radical outsourcing of city services and emerging as the leading opponent of November’s failed sales tax hike.

Under the city’s campaign rules, DeMaio cannot fundraise until June — one year before the primary election — but he can form a campaign committee and use his personal funds until then.

Other potential candidates for the race to succeed Mayor Jerry Sanders include Republican state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, Republican City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, Republican businessman Steve Francis and Democratic Congressman Bob Filner.

Here’s an in-depth profile from 2005 on DeMaio that explains how he appeared on the San Diego political scene.

Update: DeMaio just sent me a statement:

Fixing the City’s pension and budget problems are my top priorities, and if running for Mayor will advance fiscal reform of our city, I will do it. As I weigh this decision whether to run, I will be spending the next several weeks talking to supporters and listening to residents across our city to seek their advice and ideas.

Since I’m actively considering and discussing a possible race for Mayor, I have filed a ‘Candidate Intention’ form with the City Clerk’s office as required by law.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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