by Photo courtesy of the City of Chula Vista

Chula Vista residents will have to select from six candidates in today’s primary election to replace the city’s first Latina Mayor, Mary Casillas Salas, after eight years of holding office. 

The candidates include Ammar Campa-Najjar, Zaneta Encarnacion, John McCann, Rudy Ramirez, Jill Galvez, and Spencer Cash in the nonpartisan race. The two Mayoral Candidates receiving the most votes will advance to November’s runoff election. 

Chula Vista residents will also need to vote for a city attorney, and District 1 and District 2 council members. 

Campa-Najjar served in various roles within President Barack Obama's administration, including a public relations position in the Employment & Training Administration. The Democrat attempted to run for Congress in East County in 2018 against Rep. Duncan Hunter and again in 2020 against current Rep. Darrell Issa to no avail. The Chula Vista Firefighters and several local unions have enforced his mayoral campaigning efforts. Campa-Najjar’s priorities include the Bayfront development in west Chula Vista and bringing a four-year university to east Chula Vista.

Encarnacion is the chief of staff at Southwestern College and has endorsements from Casillas Salas, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and the Democratic Party of San Diego County. Her priorities include economic recovery from COVID-19 and providing more affordable housing in the city's neighborhoods.

Cash is a retired Army major who served two decades as “a medical evacuation helicopter pilot and medical operations officer'' and is focused on balancing Chula Vista's budget.

McCann, a Republican, is a city council member for Chula Vista and deputy mayor. He has been endorsed by the city's Police Officers Association. His focus is on increasing public safety in the city and making it an attractive environment for business.

Galvez also serves as a city council member representing northwest Chula Vista and served as deputy mayor in 2020. She serves on the Board of Directors for MTS and the Metropolitan Wastewater Joint Powers Authority. Increased public safety, speeding up progress on city issues, and ending the toll on State Route 125 are her priorities. She has been endorsed by the San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board.

Ramirez is a former city councilman and a small business owner. In 2015, he unsuccessfully sought a role on the Chula Vista Elementary School District Board in 2014 and the city council's District 4 seat in 2016. His priorities include addressing homelessness, stopping domestic violence, and developing the city's economy and cross-border relations.

Any one of the 218 vote centers or 132 official ballot drop box locations in San Diego County will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who are at a vote center or a drop box location at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, but nobody will be able to participate if they join the line past the 8 p.m. deadline. 

Learn more about voting in the Gubernatorial Primary Election at, call (858) 565-5800 or toll-free at (800) 696-0136.

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