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Oceanside Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim has filed papers to run for mayor in 2024. Courtesy photo
Oceanside Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim has filed papers to run for mayor in 2024. Courtesy photo
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Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim to run for Oceanside mayor in ’24

OCEANSIDE — Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim will run for mayor in 2024.

Keim, who filed his intent to run for mayor on April 26, was first appointed to the City Council in early 2019 during the council’s transition from at-large seats to district elections.

In 2020, the former Oceanside police officer was then elected to represent District 3. His current term, during which he was appointed deputy mayor, will expire the same year he intends to run for mayor in 2024.

Keim grew up in Oceanside and has been a resident for over 30 years, now joined by his wife and daughter. While in college, he worked as a lifeguard at city pools before graduating from California State University San Marcos with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. 

He served with the Oceanside Police Department for 10 years between 2006 and 2016, assigned to the Neighborhood Policing Team and the Gang Suppression Unit. During that time, he partnered with various groups throughout the community to address quality-of-life issues and worked with at-risk youth to encourage prioritizing education and better choices.

Following an on-duty injury, Keim retired as a sworn officer and joined the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department as its primary spokesperson for several years.

Now, he focuses his full-time attention as deputy mayor.

“In order to be effective I really need to be here full-time during business hours,” Keim said.

Keim serves as the city’s SANDAG and Shoreline Preservation Working Group representative. Recently, he traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for the city and region to fund local projects.  He previously served as the city’s representative for the Clean Energy Alliance.

Keim has three top priorities he would like to tackle as mayor, the first of which is curbing homelessness and crime. 

“We need strong, consistent leadership to really make a difference,” Keim said. “Our biggest issue is homelessness and the crime associated with it, and we need creative ways to make sure residents are safe.”

Keim’s second priority is fixing Oceanside’s disappearing beaches. Despite the city’s annual efforts to dredge the harbor and put the excess sand on its beaches, the coastal flow continues to erode and sweep the replaced sand further south, decimating once-popular local beaches like Buccaneer Beach to a pile of rocks. 

The city is currently in the second phase of its sand nourishment and retention project, implemented to explore ways to preserve sand on its beaches. The project has been somewhat controversial among the North County coastal cities south of Oceanside, like Carlsbad, whose council recently opposed participating in Oceanside’s pilot project and any plans that would obstruct the natural flow of sand down the coastline.

Keim has been a vocal supporter of the project. 

“We need someone who advocates for our city and our beaches,” Keim said. “Going to the beach is the one thing that’s free for residents – it’s our pastime, it’s what makes our city ours.”

Keim also said the city’s beaches help bring in roughly $500 million in visitor spending each year that pays for public services like police, fire and parks and recreation.

Keim’s third priority is to unify the city in its fight to maintain local zoning and housing control.

“We’ve been getting a lot of state mandates that force high density infill projects in single-family neighborhoods,” Keim said. “We don’t need that.”

Keim would like to address several other issues, including a more robust regional transportation plan that isn’t “San Diego-centric.”

“For so long, we have taken a back seat to these critical issues… we cannot let up, we have to have advocacy and strong leadership,” Keim said. “I’m excited about continuing as mayor and looking forward to getting the things we need and deserve.”