SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party said Friday that she shares the relief of area residents that Bob Filner heeded numerous calls for his resignation.
Francine Busby said the women who came forward to accuse the mayor of sexual harassment deserve appreciation, compassion, and support.
"No one should have to endure the behavior they reported, including the disrespect that Mr. Filner has already acknowledged," Busby said.
The party's Central Committee failed to recommend his resignation in a meeting held after the allegations were first lodged. However, a meeting was held a week later, and a call for him to step down was approved.
Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, released a statement in which he said he previously predicted Filner would be a "disaster" and "embarrassment" to the city because of his temperament.
"Mayor Filner's failings were widely known," Krvaric said. "Had local union and Democratic leadership not looked the other way for crass political, ideological reasons, this sad chapter in our city's history could have been avoided."
Ex-Councilman Carl DeMaio, who said he is conferring with supporters as he weighs a bid to run for mayor in a special election, said Filner's resignation gives the city a fresh start.
"Now is the time to put aside partisan differences to seek healing, foster unity and restore stability at City Hall," said DeMaio, who narrowly lost to Filner in last year's runoff election. "San Diegans from all walks of life, and every political party, worked together to demand Bob Filner leave office -- and that unity of purpose should not stop with today's development."
Todd Gloria, who will become interim mayor when Filner steps down next week, said the deal that resulted in the resignation was "a worthy settlement" that limits the city's liability and ends a "civic nightmare."
Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who along with Gloria helped negotiate the settlement, said "this was one of the most difficult and trying times in the history of our city."
San Diegans know that "we are better that what has happened, than what has taken place." Faulconer credited San Diegans who worked on a recall campaign that began collecting signatures on Sunday, which he said hastened the mayor's departure.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf called Filner "an abusive man" who used his power in the worst of ways.
She said she experienced his "angry and demeaning attitude" toward women several times, but not sexual harassment.