“I’m probably the underdog in the race, and I will need time to have the residents in the city get to know me,” said Bry about her early mayoral bid, which she announced Jan. 2. “We plan to run a grassroots campaign similar to what I did for the City Council, having hundreds of volunteers and neighborhood coffees throughout the city.”
Bry, a Democrat who represents District 1, which includes La Jolla, is likely to face a crowded field of competitors. Her opposition could include Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Congressman Scott Peters. Current Republican council members Mark Kersey and Chris Cate are also rumored to be potential candidates, as is retired San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, an undeclared independent.
San Diego Mayor is technically a non-partisan position.
A former journalist and entrepreneur, who ran for City Council in 2016, Bry has served as the president pro tem since 2017.
She was one of the first elected officials in the city to endorse the SDSU West plan to redevelop SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley.
Bry touted her business background, having founded companies such as ProFlowers.com and Athena San Diego, which helps women in science technology and math (STEM) industries, as qualifications to lead the nation’s eighth-largest city.
“I know what it takes to run a good campaign,” Bry said. “Most importantly, I will run my campaign like a start-up, which means being responsible in listening to your customers about what their issues are.”
Bry’s strategy in running for mayor will be the same as it was running for City Council.
“My focus is to keep our city safe, clean and prosperous,” she said. “Safe is enhancing police recruitment and fire preparedness, which is now a year-round concern. Clean involves adopting community choice energy and protecting our beaches, bays and canyons. Prosperous is creating jobs in the innovation economy.”
Addressing homelessness, Bry said the key “is to build more support housing.” Bry added her vision for the city “comes out of my 30 years in the tech world, and my long-term support for the arts, and it’s full-steam ahead.”
Undeterred by a long and difficult political campaign, Bry described her successful run for City Council as “the best experience of my life.”
“I even enjoyed campaigning,” she said noting she knocked on 6,000 doors during her city council run. “People are happy that you are there and you want to hear from them,” Bry added.
Concerning his potential candidacy, Mary Anne Pintar, district chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-52), said, “We have formed an exploratory committee and will make a decision within the next few weeks.”
Bry considers herself an outsider in the 2020 mayoral race.
“I’m not a career politician,” she said. “I’ve been an entrepreneur and a journalist. I think it’s time to get past the revolving door of political insiders. I want to make real change at city hall. And I’ve demonstrated that I’m willing to make tough decisions.”