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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner fights recall: What's his strategy?

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(Read caption) San Diego Mayor Bob Filner speaks during a news conference at city hall, in San Diego in this July 26, 2013 file photo.

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner issued a statement late Monday challenging a recall effort aimed at ousting him from office, after more than a dozen women claimed he had made unwanted sexual advances.

Under San Diego’s municipal code, Mr. Filner had until midnight to offer a written response to recall organizers, who then are required to publish his statement in a newspaper. In a release issued through his lawyers, Filner did not address the accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against him by 14 women, including his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson. Instead, he said, "Now is not the time to go backwards," and he repeated promises of better city services that he had stressed during his mayoral campaign.

Michael Pallamary, a leader of the recall effort, told the Associated Press, "Mayor Filner obviously believes his policy initiatives excuse his being a sexual predator." He added, "San Diegans want a mayor who doesn't grope and demean women."

The mayor has not been seen in public since July 26, when he said he would undergo two weeks of treatment for what he admitted was inappropriate conduct involving women. He said his therapy would begin Aug. 5 and that he would return to work Aug. 19.  But last Friday, the mayor’s attorneys at the law firm Payne & Fears said his intensive therapy would end on Aug. 10 and that he would continue counseling on an outpatient basis.

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