Councilman Ted R. Moreno said he plans to run for mayor in the November election.
The announcement comes amid controversy involving Moreno at City Hall.
Last month, Councilman Brett Franklin accused Moreno of shoving him during a break in a meeting. The alleged altercation followed a heated argument over leasing business space in the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center.
The incident is under investigation by the Orange County district attorney's office. Officials there said Thursday that their investigation may be concluded by early next week.
Moreno is in the second year of his second term on the City Council. He does not have to give up his seat to run for mayor.