Published: 23 January 2012 07:06 PM

“Let the next mayor’s campaign begin,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge declared in his final State of the City speech late last week.

Apparently the candidates listened, because a day later, the barbs began flying in what had so far been a quiet race.

A flap over endorsements arose Friday when former councilman Ed Adkison, one of six candidates for mayor, Googled himself and found a Web page for opponent William “Rusty” Bailey’s campaign naming him as one of Bailey’s supporters. Bailey is a city councilman.

“I’m hunting for information on myself and I found out I endorsed Rusty Bailey,” Adkison said. He wasn’t the only one councilmen Mike Gardner and Andy Melendrez, who also are running for mayor, were listed among Bailey’s endorsements.

The 2012 mayor’s race is expected to be heated because Loveridge will retire when his term ends in a matter of months, leaving the seat open for the first time since 1994.

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