by Photo by Sarah Berjan

Early election results on Tuesday show Chula Vista Councilman John McCann is leading businessman Ammar Camp-Najjar in the nonpartisan race to become Chula Vista’s Mayor.

For the first time in eight years, Chula Vista residents raised their voices to select who will succeed termed-out Mary Casillas Salas. As of Nov. 9, early election results show McCann received 19,407 votes, 55.2 % of the votes while Campa-Najar received15,769 votes, or 44.8 % of the votes. 

In the June Primary, McCann and Campa-Najjar received the majority of votes, with McCann receiving 8,618 votes, or 31.41% of the vote, and Campa- Najjar taking 6,047 votes, or 22.04%.

Chula Vista’s mayor serves a four-year term and earns an annual salary of about $151,000.

McCann, 54, is a city councilman for Chula Vista and deputy mayor, as well as serving in the Navy Reserves, where he was on active duty in Iraq for a year. He has been endorsed by the city's Police Officers Association. McCann owns two property management businesses and has served on several boards and committees 

His priorities include is on increasing public safety in the city and making it an attractive environment for business, removing tolls on state Route 125, promoting the Bayfront development, bringing a four-year university to the city, and protecting children from violent sex offenders.

Campa-Najjar, 34, is the founder of ACN Strategies, a public affairs and communications firm. He served in various roles within President Barack Obama's administration, including a public relations position in the Employment & Training Administration. 

He was a public affairs executive director with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and worked as a public affairs officer in the US Labor Department for one year.

In 2018, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress in East County against Rep. Duncan Hunter and again in 2020 against current Rep. Darrell Issa. Chula Vista Firefighters and several local unions endorsed him. 

“I'm offering new leadership for a city on the verge of new possibilities as we hopefully transition into a post-pandemic economy,'' he said on his campaign website. “We won't get there by recycling the same career politicians, who for decades have failed to deliver long-overdue projects. We can't wait 20 more years for these opportunities, we need a new mayor who has the energy to work hard, bring people together to settle differences, and deliver results to meet this moment with a renewed vision for Chula Vista — from Broadway to 3rd Avenue, Otay Ranch to Millenia, east to west of the 805,” he continued. 

Additional priorities include hiring additional police officers, building local workforce housing, and addressing the city’s homelessness crisis.

As of Nov. 9, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters reported a 29.4% voter turnout

After the first unofficial report, election night updates will include vote center ballots cast on Election Day only. The next unofficial results update will be posted on Nov.10 by 5 p.m. through Nov. 12. The election results will additionally be updated by 5 p.m. Nov. 14 through Nov. 18. 

Voter turnout percentage will increase as timely and validly cast ballots, including mail and provisional ballots, are added to the count, according to the County Registrar of voters. All mail ballots postmarked on Election Day and received by the Registrar’s office by November 15 will be considered timely cast.

All results are unofficial until completion of the official canvass of the election on or before Dec. 8. 

Visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to view election result updates. 

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