Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides announced a run for mayor Monday, a direct challenge to longtime incumbent Miguel Pulido.

“I am ready to be the Mayor with the vision and commitment to help our city realize its potential,” Benavides wrote in a news release. “As Mayor I will engage our residents and businesses and bring our community together around the common goals of safe neighborhoods, strong businesses, and building our city into a cultural destination — a city in which we can all take pride.”

Benavides was first elected to the City Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. The 36-year-old councilman first arrived in the city in 1996 as a youth mentor in the troubled Raitt Street neighborhood, according to the news release. Benavides stayed 15 years beyond that eight-week summer program.

Among his proposals is a “Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement,” that would focus on “Revitalizing our Neighborhoods, Reinforcing our Local Economy, Renewing Pride in Santa Ana,” the news release states.

The announcement comes amid an effort to impose a term limit on the mayoral seat, which would effectively oust Pulido, who was first elected mayor in 1994. Council members Michele Martinez and Vincent Sarmiento sit on a subcommittee that is hammering out a term limit initiative for the November ballot.

Beside Pulido and Benavides, two other candidates have pulled nomination papers to run for mayor, according to the clerk’s office: Roy Alvarado and Miguel Angel Briseno, who shares the same first and middle names as incumbent Miguel Pulido.


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