|Filner's official mayoral portrait|
|35th Mayor of San Diego|
December 3, 2012
|Preceded by||Jerry Sanders|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 51st district
January 3, 2003 – December 3, 2012
|Preceded by||Duke Cunningham|
|Succeeded by||Juan Vargas|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 50th district
January 3, 1993 – January 2, 2003
|Preceded by||District created|
|Succeeded by||Duke Cunningham|
|Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs|
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Steve Buyer|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Miller|
|Member of San Diego City Council representing the Eighth District|
December 1987 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Uvaldo Martinez|
|Succeeded by||Juan Vargas|
|Born||Robert Earl Filner
September 4, 1942
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Christy (divorced)
Jane Merrill (divorced)
|Domestic partner||Bronwyn Ingram (fiancee)|
|Residence||San Diego, California|
|Alma mater||Cornell University (BA, PhD)
University of Delaware (MA)
Robert Earl "Bob" Filner (born September 4, 1942) is an American politician from San Diego, California. He is the 35th and current Mayor of San Diego. Filner was previously the U.S. Representative for California's 51st congressional district, and previously the 50th, serving from 1993 to 2012, and was chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs 2007-2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life, education, and academic career 
Filner was born in Pittsburgh, in Squirrel Hill, into a Jewish family. He is the son of Sarah F. and Joseph H. Filner. He began his advocacy for civil rights at the age of 18 when he became one of the first people to set foot on a Greyhound bus that was headed into the Deep South on what would become known as the Freedom Rides. At the time he was an engineering student at Cornell University. In June 1961, after pulling into the bus station in Jackson, Mississippi, Filner was arrested along with his co-riders for "disturbing the peace and inciting a riot." He refused to post bond for his release and remained incarcerated for two months. His case was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States along with all the cases for other activists; the Court also overturned the laws for racial separation. Filner believes that what he did during that Freedom Ride is what he needed to do to have a say in what was happening. In Filner's own words he says "I've never been a passive person. I've always felt that, if you think something should be changed, it's your responsibility to actively pursue that change."
As a student, he worked on the Cornell Daily Sun, the student newspaper. He graduated from Cornell in 1963 with a degree in chemistry, and earned his doctorate in history of science from the same school six years later. While finishing up his PhD, he moved to San Diego, becoming a history professor at San Diego State University for more than 20 years. He resigned his position in 1992 to run for Congress.
Early political career 
Filner was long interested in politics, serving as a staffer for U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota in 1975 and for Minnesota Congressman Don Fraser in 1976. He also served as a staffer for Congressman Jim Bates from the San Diego area in 1984.
His elective career began in 1979, when his opposition to the closing of a neighborhood school led him to run for the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education, defeating a longtime incumbent. His "back to basics" approach to education won him wide praise, and his colleagues elected him president of the board in 1982. For part of his tenure on the board, he served alongside Susan Davis, who now represents most of the rest of San Diego in the House of Representatives. He was elected to the San Diego City Council in 1987 and was reelected in 1991; his colleagues elected him Deputy Mayor of San Diego. His main interest was in economic expansion.
U.S. House of Representatives 
California gained seven seats after the 1990 census, and one of them was the 50th District in south San Diego (renumbered the 51st District after the 2000 census). The district is one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation, including much of San Diego's southern section, the cities of Chula Vista and National City and all of Imperial County. It includes most of California's border with Mexico, except for the city of Imperial Beach. In 1992, Filner ran in a five-way Democratic primary for the seat and won a narrow victory. One of his primary opponents was his former boss, Jim Bates, who had lost his seat in a sexual harassment scandal in 1990 and whose home had been drawn into the district. Another opponent was veteran state Senator Wadie Deddeh, who was term-limited. Filner defeated Deddeh by a narrow margin, with Bates finishing third place in the primary. The district was almost 40% Hispanic (redistricting in 2000 made it 53% Hispanic) and heavily Democratic, and his victory in November (with 57 percent of the vote) was a foregone conclusion. He has been reelected nine times with no substantive Republican opposition. He ran unopposed in 1998. He resigned from the House of Representatives on December 3, 2012, in order to take office as Mayor of San Diego.
Filner had a bitter rivalry with Juan Vargas, another Democratic politician who ran against Filner in the Democratic primary three times. Filner and Vargas have accused each other of corruption. But in the 2012 mayoral race, Vargas endorsed Filner for Mayor of San Diego and Vargas was elected to Filner's seat in Congress. 
Filner was a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is also a member of the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus and International Conservation Caucus. He was one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 presidential election. In 2008, Filner sponsored a resolution, passed by the House of Representatives, in support of National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day. While in congress, Filner was known for his combative personality, and for personally dealing with constituent issues.
- Veterans issues
Although Filner did not serve in the Vietnam War due to a student deferment, he focused on veteran issues while in congress to enhance his reputation in military-oriented San Diego. Filner served on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and ascended to the chairmanship when the Democrats took over the House of representatives after the 2006 election. As chairman, Filner advocated for funding for veterans benefits, increased spending on veterans healthcare, and a new GI bill for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Filner stayed on as ranking Democrat on the committee after the Republicans retook the House in the 2010 election.
- Filipino issues
Filner's district in south San Diego had one of the largest populations of Filipino Americans in the country, leading Filner to focus on issues relevant to the Philippines while in congress, especially Filipino veterans. Filner's accomplishments included legislation allowing Filipino veterans to maintain a small stipend from the government if they moved back to the Philippines, burial benefits, and access to VA clinics. In 2009 Filner brokered a deal securing $198 million in pension benefits for Filipino veterans who had served for the United States in World War II in the form of a $15,000 lump sum payment as part of the 2009 stimulus bill. In February 2009, Rep. Antonio Diaz filed a bill in the Philippine House of Representatives seeking to confer honorary Filipino citizenship on Filner and U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye, Daniel Akaka, and Ted Stevens for their role in securing the passage of this legislation.
- Airline worker controversy
On August 20, 2007, Filner was involved in an altercation with a United Airlines employee at Dulles International Airport after he became upset that his baggage had not yet arrived on a baggage carousel. Filner entered the baggage claim office and became irritated when the employee was busy helping another customer and asked the congressman to wait his turn. It was at this point that it is alleged that Filner attempted to enter the employee-only area of the office. He was asked to leave the area several times by airline employees but refused to do so until airport police were called in.
Filner was on his way to visit troops in Iraq at the time of the incident. He released a statement saying "suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect and the charges are ridiculous". He was later charged with assault and battery. Filner entered a plea after prosecutors reduced the charge to trespassing. The House Ethics Committee began a probe into the event, but it was later dropped.
- People's Mujahedin of Iran
Filner, along with several, senior US officials, argued that the People's Mujahedin of Iran, also known as the MEK, should have its designation as a terrorist group removed. Filner considered the MEK an ally against the Iranian regime. Filner accepted free trips, and paid engagements to speak in favor of delisting them as a terrorist organization. The National Iranian American Council criticized the congressman for these actions. The U.S. Department of State lifted the MEK's designation as a terrorist organization as of September 28, 2012.
Committee assignments 
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs (Ranking Member)
Mayor of San Diego 
Filner announced on June 8, 2011, that he would be a candidate for Mayor of San Diego in the 2012 election and would not run for re-election to Congress. In the primary on June 5, 2012, he placed second with 30.74% of the vote. He faced city councilmember Carl DeMaio in the November 2012 runoff election. On election day Filner edged out DeMaio, 52.5% to 47.5%. Filner, age 70, won as San Diego's first Democratic mayor since 1992 and only its second since 1971.  In his first speech as mayor, Filner promised to focus on rebuilding the neighborhoods of San Diego, improving city services, increasing staffing for public safety, bringing jobs to the city, and developing stronger regional ties with Tijuana.
In January 2013, following a meeting between Filner and the San Diego chapter of Americans for Safe Access, Filner instructed the San Diego Police Department and city code compliance officers to stop enforcing codes against marijuana dispensaries and stop forwarding cases to the San Diego City Attorney's Office. Jan Goldsmith, the San Diego City Attorney, stated that due to Filner's instructions the City of San Diego will not cooperate with state and federal prosecutors when they prosecute marijuana dispensaries.
In February 2013, Filner raised controversy by not authorizing funding of the Tourism Marketing District, a hotelier-run organization charged with promoting San Diego as a tourist destination. The organization is funded by a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms. In 2012, the San Diego City Council agreed to renew the District for 39 1/2 years, with the hotel surcharge beginning January 1, 2013. Then Mayor Jerry Sanders also agreed to the arrangement, but was not able to sign the agreement before leaving office. Filner has publicly withheld his signature on the agreement, wanting a series of concessions that would raise hotel worker salaries, protect the City from liability, and direct more of the funds collected to be used by the City of San Diego. The Tourism Marketing District has objected, saying that the Mayor did not have a legal basis to alter the agreement, and that withholding of funds could significantly limit the District's ability to promote the city. The District has since threatened to file suit against the Mayor to enforce the agreement, causing additional friction between the Mayor and City Attorney. FIlner won the ensuing court case, with Judge Timothy Taylor ruling he had discretion to not sign an operating agreement with the city's Tourism Marketing District.
Personal life 
Filner is divorced from his first wife, Barbara (Christy) Filner, a retired mediation specialist; they have a daughter, Erin Filner, a middle school social studies teacher who lives in Bedford, New York, and a son, Adam Filner, who is married and is the father of two young children. Filner was later married to Jane Merrill. At his first news conference after his election as mayor, Filner introduced his fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram, a disability analyst who works for the Social Security Administration.
- "Is There an Engineer in the House?". ASEE Prism Online. January 2001. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Rosenberg, Paul. "Congressmember Bob Filner: Confronting racist Tea Party violence on election night". Open Left. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Horstman, Barry M. (17 October 1987). "Filner: Being a Freedom Rider Changed the Course of His Life". Los Angeles Times.
- Filner, Bob (1973). Science and Politics in England, 1930-1945: The Social Relations of Science Movement (Ph.D.). Cornell University. http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/voiceofsandiego.org/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/70/b70e88d0-448b-11e2-b316-001a4bcf887a/50c8d098d6f97.pdf.pdf.
- "Bob Filner". U.S. Congress Votes Database. Washington Post. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Gustafson, Craig (April 14, 2012). "School board snub fired Filner up for politics". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Horstman, Barry M. (September 28, 1991). "Apologetic Bates Plans Comeback". Los Angeles Times.
- "Rep. Bob Filner (D)". National Journal Almanac. National Journal. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Joseph, Cameron (3 December 2012). "Rep. Filner resigns from Congress". The Hill. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Rep. Filner beats Democratic rival in latest rematch". San Diego Union-Tribune. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Dillon, Liam (30 July 2012). "The Politics of Bob Filner’s Personality". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "U.S. House of Representatives District 51 - Districtwide Results". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Bob Filner on the Issues". On the Issues. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Bush carries Electoral College after delay". CNN. January 6, 2005. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7: On Agreeing to the Objection". U.S. House of Representatives. 6. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "AMT Day Passes House!". AviationPros.com. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Dillon, Liam (24 December 2012). "Filner, Bob: The Definitive Entry on San Diego's New Mayor". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Dillon, Liam (4 September 2012). "What Bob Filner Did In Washington D.C.". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Leila Salaverria (24 February 2009). "4 US solons as honorary Filipinos". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- Molly Hooper (20 August 2007). "Rep. Bob Filner Charged With Assault on Virginia Airport Worker". Fox News. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Congressman Bob Filner Served Court Summons on Assault Charge". Fox News. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Dana Wilkie (29 November 2007). "Va. airline employee rips". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Paul Kane (19 September 2007). "House Ethics Committee Opens Probe into Filner's Airport Altercation". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Patrick O'Conner (21 December 2007). "House ethics gives Filner mild rebuke". Politico. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- McGreal, Chris (28 September 2012). "MEK supporters push for recognition by US as official Iranian opposition". UK Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Matt Potter (27 July 2011). "Filner's Road to Paris". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 5 Dec 2011.
- David Elliot (10 June 2010). "Congressmen working with MEK to remove terrorist designation". NIAC Insight. Retrieved 5 Dec 2011.
- 77 F.R. 60741
- "Filner in it to win it". KUSI News. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Official primary election results". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Presidential General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Spagat, Elliot (7 November 2012). "Filner claims victory as next San Diego mayor". Silicon Valley Mercury News. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Unofficial Election Results Show Filner Ahead of DeMaio in Mayoral Race". San Diego 6: The CW. November 6, 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- Halverstadt, Lisa (3 December 2012). "Where Candidate Filner Wavered, Mayor Filner Delivers". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Craig Gustafson (10 January 2013). "Filner halts medpot crackdown: Federal crackdown not affected by mayor's action". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Tony Perry (13 January 2013). "San Diego halts all actions against marijuana dispensaries". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Mayor Bob Filner Wins Court Battle Over Tourism Marketing" (in English). San Diego 6. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Rowe, Peter (January 31, 2011). "For ‘nice’ San Diegan, mediation is the key". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Bob Filner Fiancee Bronwyn Ingram". NBC San Diego. November 20, 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bob Filner|
- City of San Diego Mayor's Website official mayoral site
- Bob Filner for mayor of San Diego official campaign site
- Bob Filner for U.S. Congress official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 50th congressional district
Randy "Duke" Cunningham
Randy "Duke" Cunningham
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 51st congressional district
|Chairman of House Veterans' Affairs Committee
|Mayor of San Diego, California