The Chula Vista City Council appointed Alonzo Gonzalez as the District 3 representative to complete the remaining term left behind by now-Sen. Steve Padilla, who was elected to the State Legislature in November.
The city council approved his appointment in a 3-1 vote on Tuesday, with the opposing vote cast by Mayor John McCann. Gonzalez took his oath of office after the council vote. He now represents the largest growing district in the city, including the eastern neighborhoods of Sunbow, Otay Ranch, Millenia, and Winding Walk.
Gonzalez is a broker at Pac Pro Real Estate who served as deputy chief of staff for the San Diego City Council from 2006-2009 and as land use policy analyst for former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Gonzalez said he is an “advocate for vibrant communities that favor inclusion over single-family zoning”.
Councilmember Andrea Cardenas nominated him from a pool of 10 finalists, who were all publicly interviewed at the Jan. 24 city council meeting. The council did not reach a consensus last week after hours of hearing public comments and interviewing candidates. The council opted to table the decision until the Jan.31 meeting.
The candidates for the empty seat included Nimpa Akana, Devonna Almagro, Griselda Delgado, David Diaz, Gian Ghio, Alonso Gonzalez, Victor Lopez, Daniel Rice (Vazquez), Sophia Rodriguez, and Tanya Williams.
The council had until Feb.3 to make an appointment to avoid a special election. The council expressed they want to give constituents in District 3 representation, but many residents said they want to have the opportunity to choose their representative through a special election.
Many Chula Vista residents expressed support for a special election during the meeting. After Public comment, Mayor McCann motioned for a special election, but the motion failed to receive support from the council.
Deputy Mayor Jose Preciado motioned to appoint Griselda Delgado but failed to receive the council’s support.
Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas motioned to appoint Gonzalez, which was supported by Deputy Mayor Preciado and Councilmember Carolina Chavez.
Gonzalez will serve Chula Vista residents living in District 3 until December 2024.