With Bob Filner’s resignation set for Friday, it’s finally safe for would-be mayors to say they’re thinking about running.

Or, in one case, that they’re not. Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, announced Sunday she’s not running, according to U-T San Diego.

Meanwhile, other potential candidates spent their time getting photos taken, talking with potential allies and (presumably) furiously dialing for dollars.

Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has filed initial paperwork. Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, who’d been running for Congress, is considering a bid too, and the U-T says Republicans leaders are trying to figure out whom to get behind, with County Supervisor Ron Roberts (a former mayoral candidate) getting some attention as a dark horse.

Others potentially in the hunt: Council President Todd Gloria (whom the U-T profiled Saturday) and former state Sen. Christine Kehoe.

The U-T has a helpful guide to the top mayoral hopefuls.

Though the field’s far from set, one thing is certain: This will be a vastly different election than the last mayoral contest.

Here are three ways: It’ll be wickedly (and mercifully) brief, the turnout may favor the GOP and character issues will be front and center.

• The Los Angeles Times checks in on Gloria’s plans for serving as the interim chief of the city. He promises “a top-down review of all city departments,” “staffing changes,” “swift action on pending items that have languished on Mayor Filner’s desk for months.” He also promises governmental transparency, both with the media and in terms of access to public records. (We’ve heard that before.)

This will all come while he considers a run for mayor and possibly launches one.

• Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who underwent one of the more remarkable metamorphoses from top Filner fan to top Filner foe, urged continued reform in a U-T op-ed titled “Wrong person but right vision for San Diego.”

The Human Side of Filner

• Filner’s psyche is an endless source of speculation. How did a man command such personal loyalty among progressives and constituents but consistently alienate colleagues and staff members?

iNewsource takes a look at part of the equation: His notorious inability to get along with people he didn’t serve: “The man who spent his political career professing compassion for the little guy had difficulty mustering the proper concern for how his words and actions might impact the people who surrounded him in everyday life. Simply put, he had difficulty connecting on a basic human level.”

Second Opinion: Coverage for Citizen Kids With Undocumented Parents

Megan Burks continues to guide people through the maze that is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This week, she tackles one posed by a teacher whose class often includes children with undocumented parents. The educator asks: “How do parents who are in the country illegally go about getting their citizen children insured?”

Quick News Hits

• Filner, Filner, Filner: With one exception, VOSD’s top 10 stories of the week all had a mayor in common.

• Guess what: We’re still here. I’m writing this paragraph while sitting on a Balboa Park lawn on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Unless they know something I don’t know, the wrenching human drama of the last few weeks hasn’t touched the trees, the squirrels or the breezes.

San Diego’s beauty is still here, too. To cleanse your mental palate, here are a few awesome photos posted recently on the San Diego section of Reddit: Balboa Park, downtown, Petco Park and the the city from above.

I can see our present from here. Maybe the future too.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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