Christy Guerin says she won't seek re-election
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer
ENCINITAS ---- Mayor Christy Guerin tearfully announced Thursday she will not seek re-election in November so she can focus on her new job as district director for U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad.
"I want to be able to throw in 110 percent at the congressman's office and at the same time I don't want to neglect the city," Guerin told reporters at City Hall.
Guerin's departure means one of two seats will be uncontested in November's City Council race.
Councilman Dan Dalager collected candidacy papers earlier this week and said he plans to compete for a second term.
Three other hopefuls ---- Teresa Barth, Doug Long and Robert Nanninga ---- have taken out candidacy papers so far. Because Guerin isn't running, the deadline for returning candidacy papers will be extended from Aug. 11 to Aug. 16.
Guerin, 49, ran unsuccessfully in 1996 before being elected to the council in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. In December, she began her second, one-year stint in the mayor's seat, which rotates among council members.
Guerin began working in Bilbray's Escondido office July 1. She said she delayed announcing her re-election plans so she could learn more about what the job for Bilbray entailed.
The job could be short-lived: Bilbray is completing the remainder of imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham's term, which will end next January. Bilbray faces Democrat Francine Busby in the general election this fall.
For Guerin's remaining time in office, she said can "do a good job as mayor and still do a good job for the congressman."
Guerin choked back tears as she announced her decision.
"It wasn't easy," she said, dabbing her eyes. "I don't want anyone to think it was easy."
Also emotional was Guerin's daughter, Caylin, 20, who accompanied her mother to the press briefing. The younger Guerin is one of four siblings. She said her mother remains available to the family despite the demands of her new job and of being mayor.
"She's very balanced and has her priorities," Caylin Guerin said. "She's a good mom."
Christy Guerin said she would return the $6,500 in campaign contributions she had collected earlier.
She said she would endorse candidates for City Council after the filing period is over.
She reflected proudly on having contributed to the completion of the Encinitas Community and Senior Center, Fire Station No. 5, Cottonwood Creek Park and the Downtown Encinitas StreetScape Program.
"Those are projects that had been in a holding pattern," Guerin said.
She said she was proud to have been on the City Council that hired City Manager Kerry Miller and approved the purchase of the 43-acre Hall property as a park site.
Working for Bilbray will allow her to learn more about the workings of the federal government, but the position won't be a springboard to running for federal or state office, she said.
Before her election to the City Council, Guerin worked as a sheriff's deputy from 1980 to 1990. She left that job because of knee and back injuries she suffered on duty. She said she can continue to receive a $2,000-a-month disability pension despite her return to the workplace.
Guerin's husband, Alfred, is a commander for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and oversees four stations as well as other operations.
She said her religious beliefs influenced her decision not to seek re-election.
"I'm a faithful person," she said. "You don't get handed a position like this (for Bilbray) and get greedy and do both."