Mayor of San Diego
|Mayor of the City of San Diego
Flag of San Diego, California
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Joshua H. Bean|
|Website||Office of the Mayor|
The Mayor of the City San Diego is the official head and chief executive officer of the City of San Diego, California. The mayor has the duty to enforce and execute the laws enacted by the San Diego City Council. The mayor serves a four-year term and is limited to two successive terms.
The position of mayor was created when San Diego was first incorporated on March 27, 1850. Due to an 1852 bankruptcy, the State of California dissolved the government and a board of trustees governed the city instead of a mayor. The mayoral position was reestablished with a new charter in 1887. This charter was replaced with a more permanent City Charter on May 6, 1889, using the strong Mayor form of government.
In 1931 a new charter was adopted using a council–manager government with a citywide mayor as leader of the city council. In November 2004, voters approved Proposition F, returning San Diego to the strong mayor form of government on a five-year trial basis. This was made permanent in June 2010 with the passage of Proposition D.
Duties and powers 
The mayor serves as the official head of the City of San Diego for all ceremonial and civil purposes. The mayor has the authority to approve or veto council actions, subject to a two-thirds majority veto overrule. Under the strong mayor system, the mayor has sole authority to appoint and dismiss the city manager and to direct and control the city manager as permitted by the city charter. The mayor also has the authority to dismiss the chief of police or the chief of the fire department subject to a council overrule. The mayor may recommend measures and ordinance to the city council, but may not vote on these items.
On or before January 15, the mayor is obligated to communicate a State of the City address to the city council. The mayor must also propose a budget to the city council and for public review no later than April 15.
The mayor currently earns an annual salary of $100,464. In March 2012, the city's Salary Setting Commission proposed that the mayor be paid $235,000, but the city council unanimously rejected the recommendation.
Election and succession 
The mayor is elected in citywide election. Elections follow a two-round system. The first round of the election is called the primary election. If a candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, they are elected outright. If no candidate receives a majority, the top-two candidates advance to a runoff election, called the general election. Write-in candidates are only allowed to contest the primary election and are not allowed in the general election. The mayor is elected to a four-year term, with a limit of two consecutive terms. The mayor is officially non-partisan by state law, although most mayoral candidates identify a party preference.
If the office of the mayor becomes vacant with one year or less remaining in the term, the city council appoints a person to fill the vacancy. If the vacancy occurs with more than one year remaining, the city council is obligated to call a special election. The candidate with the majority of the votes in the special election is declared Mayor. If no candidate receives a majority, a special run-off must be held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. While the mayor's office is vacant pending a special election, the president of the city council serves as the acting Mayor as required by law. If for any reason a Mayor serves a partial term of two years or more, it will count as one full term.
The most recent election was held in November 2012. The next election will be held in 2016.
To date, 34 individuals have served as mayor. There have been 35 mayoralties due to Edwin M. Capps's serving two non-consecutive terms: he is counted chronologically as both the ninth and sixteenth mayor. The longest term was that of Pete Wilson, who served for twelve years over three terms prior to the establishment of term limits. Percy J. Benbough is the only mayor to have died in office. Two women have been elected mayor: Maureen O'Connor and Susan Golding consecutively.
From 1852 until 1888, San Diego was governed by a board of trustees, so there was no official mayor. Likewise, although acting mayors are included on this list, they are not included in the count of mayors.
Party affiliation is shown for each mayor, when known. However, election of mayor under the current charter is officially non-partisan.
|#||Mayor||Term start||Term end|
|1||Joshua H. Bean||1850||1851||Independent|
|2||David B. Kurtz||1851||1852||Whig|
|3||George P. Tebbetts||1852||1852||Independent|
|—||Board of Trustees[a]||1852||1888||N/A|
|4||William J. Hunsaker[b]||1888||1888||Workingman|
|7||William H. Carlson||1893||1896||Independent|
|8||David C. Reed||1897||1898||Republican|
|9||Edwin M. Capps||1899||1901||Democratic|
|10||Frank P. Frary||1901||1905||Republican|
|11||John L. Sehon||1905||1907||Democratic|
|12||John F. Forward, Sr.||1907||1909||Republican|
|14||James E. Wadham||1911||1913||Democratic|
|15||Charles F. O'Neall||1913||1915||Democratic|
|16||Edwin M. Capps||1915||1917||Democratic|
|17||Louis J. Wilde||1917||1921||Republican|
|18||John L. Bacon||1921||1927||Republican|
|19||Harry C. Clark||1927||1931||Republican|
|20||Walter W. Austin||May 4, 1931||May 8, 1933||Republican|
|21||John F. Forward, Jr.[d]||May 8, 1933||August 22, 1934||Republican|
|22||Rutherford B. Irones[d]||August 22, 1934||February 1, 1935||Republican|
|23||Percy J. Benbough[e]||May 6, 1935||November 4, 1942||Republican|
|24||Howard B. Bard[e]||November 30, 1942||May 3, 1943||Democratic|
|25||Harley E. Knox||May 3, 1943||May 7, 1951||Independent|
|26||John D. Butler||May 7, 1951||May 2, 1955||Republican|
|27||Charles Dail||May 2, 1955||December 2, 1963||Democratic|
|28||Frank E. Curran||December 2, 1963||December 6, 1971||Democratic|
|29||Pete Wilson[f]||December 6, 1971||January 3, 1983||Republican|
|—||William E. Cleator, Sr.[f]||January 3, 1983||May 3, 1983||Republican|
|30||Roger A. Hedgecock[g]||May 3, 1983||December 5, 1985||Republican|
|—||Ed Struiksma[g]||December 5, 1985||June 3, 1986||Republican|
|31||Maureen F. O'Connor||June 3, 1986||December 7, 1992||Democratic|
|32||Susan G. Golding||December 7, 1992||December 4, 2000||Republican|
|33||Dick M. Murphy[h]||December 4, 2000||July 15, 2005||Republican|
|—||Michael J. Zucchet[h]||July 15, 2005||July 18, 2005||Democratic|
|—||Toni G. Atkins[h]||July 18, 2005||December 5, 2005||Democratic|
|34||Jerry R. Sanders||December 5, 2005||December 3, 2012||Republican|
|35||Bob E. Filner||December 3, 2012||Incumbent||Democratic|
Presidents of the Board of Trustees 
After San Diego's bankruptcy in 1852, the State of California took over city government and ran the city with an appointed Board of Trustees during 1852–1889. From 1852 to 1871, there was a President of the Board, who was called mayor by courtesy, although there was no official office of mayor.
In 1872, the Board of Trustees changed from a three-member body, with President, Secretary, and Treasurer, to a five-member body with no president.
|#||President||Term start||Term end||Notes|
|1||Charles P. Noell||1852||1852||Democratic|
|2||James W. Robinson||1852||1853||Democratic|
|4||Julian Ames||1855||1857||AKA Jesse Wilbur Ames|
|6||Henry H. Whaley||1857||1858|
|7||Thomas Whaley||1858||1859||Republican in 1882|
|8||Jacob C. Bogart||1859||1860||Democratic|
|9||Rufus B. Tebbetts||1860||1862|
|10||David B. Kurtz||1862||1865||Democratic||Whig when previously Mayor|
|12||Joseph S. Manasse||1867||1869|
- a There was no official mayor during the time San Diego was run by the Board of Trustees.
- b William J. Hunsaker resigned from office.
- c Douglas Gunn ran as a Republican on the "Citizens' Non-Partisan" ticket.
- d John F. Forward, Jr. resigned from office. Rutherford B. Irones was appointed to finish the balance of his term. However, Irones himself would later resign as well.
- e Percy J. Benbough died in office of natural causes. Howard B. Bard was appointed to finish the balance of his term.
- f Pete Wilson resigned from office to join the United States Senate. William E. Cleator, Sr. served as acting mayor until a new election could be held.
- g Roger Hedgecock resigned from office. Ed Struiksma served as acting mayor until a new election could be held.
- h Dick Murphy resigned from office. Michael Zucchet briefly served as acting mayor before he too resigned. Toni Atkins then served as acting mayor until a new election could be held.
- Larson, Thomas (28 October 2004). "Elections San Diego Style". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "A History of San Diego Government". City of San Diego. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "ARTICLE XV Strong Mayor Form of Governance". City of San Diego City Charter. City of San Diego. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "City Council Rejects Salary Hikes For Mayor, Council". 10news.com. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "How To Run For Office Details". City of San Diego. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Selected Chronological List of San Diego City Officials". San Diego History Center. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
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