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Allegations against mayor the talk of San Diego

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 5:45 p.m.
REUTERS
San Diego mayor Bob Filner has been accused by three women of making unwelcome sexual advances.

SAN DIEGO — The news release intended to project an air of normalcy: “Forward with City Business!” exclaimed the announcement Mayor Bob Filner put out last week with some upbeat photos showing the mayor reviewing plans for a library and smiling at a gay pride parade.

But “normal” San Diego is not these days — not with talk of unwanted advances, headlocks and comparisons of Filner to Anthony Weiner. The lurid claims against the 70-year-old have become the talk of the town — plunging California's second-largest city into political turmoil amid demands for its first Democratic leader in decades to resign.

“I can't go anywhere without it coming up — the Laundromat, the grocery store, a friend's party, a restaurant,” said Todd Gloria, a Democrat who, as City Council president, would become interim mayor if Filner resigns. “No one is supportive of the mayor.”

Filner shows no sign of quitting, fueling talk of a recall effort less than eight months into his four-year term. His office didn't respond to an interview request.

The San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee was to meet Thursday evening to reconsider its position on Filner. At a three-hour meeting last week, the party split on whether to call for his resignation, but that was before three women came forward with detailed allegations of mistreatment.

Stephen Whitburn, a spokesman for the county Democratic Party, said he expected the meeting on Thursday to be much shorter than last week's but wouldn't say why.

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