By Pat ShermanThe increasingly congested field of candidates seeking to replace San Diego’s disgraced former mayor, Bob Filner, includes current and former politicians, along with a plethora of lesser-known (though no less hopeful) contenders.
Among them is La Jolla Realtor Harry J. Dirks.
Dirks, who will turn 68 on Halloween (“I’m the pumpkin they left at the doorstep,” he quips), said he has been seeking signatures daily. He needs 200 from registered San Diego voters in order to qualify for the ballot by next week’s deadline of Friday, Sept. 20.
La Jolla LightSept. 11, Dirks said he spent five or six hours that morning visiting residents and business owners.
“I am doing my best,” said Dirks, who moved to La Jolla in 1985 and is owner of La Jolla Coastal Real Estate and H. J. Dirks & Associates construction.
Dirks said he decided to throw his hat in the ring after hearing of Mayor Filner’s misdeeds and other allegations against former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio (who denied the allegations and has since stated he will not run in the Nov. 19 special election).
“I’m a business administrator, and when Jerry Sanders was in there, I thought everything was running along pretty good,” said Dirks, adding that, if elected, he would seek to emulate Sanders’ management style — and run the city like a business administrator.
Though Dirks realizes he’s running as a dark horse, he said he’s taking things “one step at a time,” which included joining other mayoral hopefuls at a candidate orientation forum last week.
“They told us what the rules were, as far as ethics and the collection of signatures and deadlines.” It also addressed the filing of required paperwork, such as the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) and Form 410, which must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days of receiving $1,000 in campaign contributions.
Though Dirks admitted he faces a steep learning curve, he’s said he’s delving into city issues, such as the need for San Diego to find another location to dispose of its trash. The Miramar Landfill is estimated to reach capacity and close by 2022.
“There has to be some sort of alternative for that,” he said. “I think that’s as much of a priority as our streets and sidewalks and infrastructure. It’s all a priority.
“There’s a lot of issues and I’m just getting a tip-of-the-iceberg glace at them starting my campaign.”
—For more information on Dirks’ campaign or to sign his petition to be on the ballot, phone him at (858) 456-7560 or (858) 248-0905.