Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!

It all started when Bob Filner decided to run for mayor.

Dominoes fell after the 10-term congressman shared his plans to lead San Diego. Four more South Bay politicos made big announcements of their own.

To get a better sense of how the pieces all fell into place, we created this timeline.

June 8, 2011: Filner files paperwork to run for mayor.

June 9, 2011: State Sen. Juan Vargas, a longtime Filner foe, announces he’ll seek the fellow Democrat’s reconfigured 51st District House of Representatives seat.

Summer 2011: After years of political battles — including three Filner victories over Vargas — the two Dems make nice over beers at a South Bay festival. The longtime enemies later publicly share their support for each other.

Fall/winter 2011: The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, led by chief Lorena Gonzalez, endorses Filner, Assemblyman Ben Hueso and Vargas in their 2012 races.

Nov. 6, 2012: Voters pick Filner as San Diego’s new mayor, Vargas to represent the 51st Congressional District and Hueso to serve as 80th District assemblyman. Vargas’ win means he’ll need to leave his state Senate seat behind by his Jan. 3 inauguration, requiring a special election.

Dec. 1, 2012: After earlier speculation, former Chula Vista Councilman Steve Castaneda tells The Star-News he’ll run for Hueso’s state Assembly seat.

Dec. 3, 2012: Hueso announces he’ll seek Vargas’ Senate seat within hours of being sworn in as the 80th District’s state assemblyman. Vargas tells U-T San Diego he’ll support Hueso, a former San Diego city councilman.

Dec. 6, 2012: Gonzalez shares plans to run for Hueso’s Assembly seat if he successfully makes the leap to the state Senate.

As our Scott Lewis notes, Hueso is likely to win the race but a Gonzalez aide revealed the labor leader will seek her ally’s seat in 2016 if Hueso ends up serving out the rest of his state Assembly term.

U-T San Diego columnist Matthew T. Hall threw a couple more names into the mix in a tweet:

So @lorenasgonzalez -> @benhueso -> @vargas4congress -> @bobfilnermayor -> @mayorsanders -> @rubenbarrales. Got it?

— Matthew T. Hall (@SDuncovered) December 6, 2012

Indeed, seven-year Mayor Jerry Sanders was recently termed out of office, leaving the post open for Filner.

The former mayor will replace Ruben Barrales, who led the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for six years. Barrales is a well-connected political player who previously worked in President George W. Bush’s administration. He hasn’t provided specifics on what’s next for him.

Do you expect any additional South Bay announcements in coming weeks or months? We’d love your predictions.

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at or 619.325.0528.

Like VOSD on Facebook.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.