Candidates’ Statements

On June 9, the South Area Caucus will consider endorsements for the following races and candidates.

  • County Board of Supervisors D1 (Cross-Area)
    • State Senator Ben Hueso
    • Southwestern College Board President Nora Vargas
  • Strategically Critical Endorsements:
    • Imperial Beach:
      • Mark West (D2);
      • Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez (D4)
    • National City Council (endorsements for up to two seats):
      • Marcus Bush,
      • Gonzalo Quintero,
      • Jose Rodriguez
  • Friendly Incumbent Endorsements:
    • Laurie Humphrey, Chula Vista Elementary School Board #4
    • Irene Lopez, San Ysidro School Board
    • Antonio Martinez, San Ysidro School Board

Please review the candidates’ statements submitted below. If no candidate statement is printed below, please visit the candidates’ websites for additional information.

Senator Ben Hueso for San Diego Supervisor

“It’s been a privilege to serve our community as City Council President, Assemblymember andSenator. Together, we’ve solved difficult problems.I look forward to continuing our work creating a brighter future for all families.” —Ben Hueso

Senator Ben Hueso worked alongside Governors Brown and Newsom to combat ClimateChange and new policies hurting the environment. In 2019, he brought $15 million for the Tijuana River Valley to eradicate pollution and is leading water quality efforts for our coastlines.

Senator Ben Hueso led the efforts for safety improvements at the Coronado Bridge, brought $5 million for suicide prevention in 2019, and authored a bill signed by Governor Newsom to form a community advisory group which will help select the physical barrier.

Veterans and seniors named Senator Hueso Legislator of the Year and gave him the HealthChampion Award, recognizing his work for quality services and rising prescription costs. He continues to fight for the public’s health and safety by ensuring frontline workers and first responders have the tools they need to stay safe and effectively care for those in need.

Senator Hueso worked to increase education funding by almost 60%, and provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to students. Throughout his career, he created thousands of jobs for working families and has always stood up for women’s rights.

As San Diego Supervisor, Senator Ben Hueso will continue fighting for our communities. He will work for good jobs, good schools and a San Diego where everyone can achieve the AmericanDream of a comfortable life and a promising future for their children.

Senator Ben Hueso is endorsed by Congressman Juan Vargas, Senate President Pro Tem ToniAtkins, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Coronado Councilman Whitney Benzian, Coronado Firefighters, Teachers, Nurses, Business Leaders.
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Website: www.benhueso.com
Email: Team@benhueso.com
Social Media:
Twitter:  @benhueso
Instagram: @benhueso
Contact: Claudia López, Campaign Manager
E-mail: Team@BenHueso.com

Southwestern College Board President Nora Vargas for San Diego Supervisor

Dear Members of the Coronado Democratic Club, 

When I decided to run for County Supervisor, I wanted to make a difference. I have shared my vision and plan for stronger and healthier communities, and that vision is truer now, more than ever. Given the challenges this district has faced, from lack of housing to inequities in our healthcare system, from millions of gallons of sewage coming across our border and polluting our beachfront communities to our County not having a climate action plan. Now, South County has the highest confirmed count of COVID-19 cases – we need a representative who will step up and provide real leadership during difficult times. 

I have dedicated my life to removing barriers for underserved communities through civic engagement, public policy, and community organizing. I have been in our communities doing the real work on the ground for many years. As an elected member of the Southwestern College Governing Board, I have balanced tough budgets, increased transparency and strengthened community partnerships. I continue to advocate for students to have access to affordable education and job training, from recent high school graduates, to our veterans, returning students and our DREAMers. As Vice President of Community and Government Relations at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, I championed expanded healthcare services, women’s reproductive rights and health education for youth and families. As a former member of the California State Teachers Retirement (CalSTRS) Board, the largest teacher retirement system in the nation, I worked to ensure that CalSTRS investments were socially responsible and financially sound. 

I have an understanding of the issues and have done real work on the ground that has impacted people’s daily lives. My role as a fearless advocate of this District has only been enhanced as our communities tackle the public health crisis before us. I have worked to ensure that our students at Southwestern College have a fully stocked pantry, delivered warm meals and conducted wellness checks with the seniors in our communities, developed a bilingual platform connecting community members to resources or experts and advocates in workers’ rights, housing, domestic violence, small business, and healthcare. 

Our path to recovery from this global pandemic will not be easy and it requires a collaborative leader who can bring people together to develop innovative solutions as our county rebuilds and works toward a collective future in a changed environment. I am committed to hit the ground running on day one and will ensure that as we seek a path to prosperity, that economic stimulus be provided to support the recovery of small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 

As Supervisor, I will fight to ensure that the County is providing our communities with the resources they need and deserve. Thank you all for providing me with so much insight to the issues facing our communities. I hope to earn your endorsement and your vote to move District 1 and San Diego County forward. 

Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez for Imperial Beach City Council

Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez has made a difference for the working families of Imperial Beach and throughout San Diego County – as a local organizer, as a US Army Reservist and as a labor relations representative.

Matthew has dedicated his career to fighting for better jobs with fair pay and benefits for local families – while strengthening the local economy and expanding apprenticeship programs, job training and worker safety. He currently serves our area as a Labor Relations Representative in the Organizing Department for Laborers Union Local 89. In that capacity, Matthew has helped make sure many important community infrastructure investments are safely and properly built – including hundreds of structures at local schools, community colleges, universities and hospitals. At the same time, he works to make sure pay rates, overtime laws, worker safety laws and standards on public works projects are adhered to.

Matthew joined the U.S. Army Reserves out of high school and served for nine years, and was inspired to learn the value of motivation and a strong work ethic. Meanwhile, he earned his Associates Degree from Southwestern Community College, and then his Bachelors’ Degree at California State University at Dominguez Hills. He was the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

A third-generation Laborer – following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather – Matthew got his start in the construction trades at UC San Diego. He excelled in in his field and took leadership roles in managing workers’ safety and overseeing payroll and project budgets. He is proud of the career he built through hard work – and is giving back to the community by making sure others overcome adversity, and have the opportunity to pursue good jobs with fair pay and benefits – and career advancement.

Matthew has stepped forward to help our community through the COVID-19 crisis. He serves on the Imperial Beach Mayor’s Task Force working with the IB Business Round Table, working to gather information from business community to make recommendations to reopen the local economy. And he is working with the City Council and State Legislators to give small business owners information on how to get assistance during the pandemic – so that they can keep on employing as many Imperial Beach residents as possible.

As a leader who stands up for workers and working families, Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez is a voice we need on the Imperial Beach City Council. We can count on him to work for safer neighborhoods and to improve opportunities for all the people of Imperial Beach, not just the powerful.

Jose Rodriguez for National City Council

I am a fortunate man; I have an amazing wife, and 4 incredible children and I am honored to be running for National City Council. I want the American Dream to be attainable for everyone in National City.

I believe that every worker deserves a living wage, every human deserves a place to call home, and our government must work on behalf of everybody’s interest (not just the 1% or privileged few).

We need to increase home ownership and small business growth so that we can all have pride of ownership. We need to create more affordable housing, stabilize rent prices and decrease building permits fees to incentivize development. 

We must defeat the negativity on the national and local level that divides our community. It is an agenda filled with anger and hatred. There are solutions to our problems and we will overcome them together.

I would be honored to receive your support and help move National City Forward.