The voters of Chula Vista stuck with familiar faces in Tuesday’s primary elections as five of the six candidates vying for three seats on the city council have served or are serving on the City Council and are moving forward to a November runoff.
In the mayoral race, Councilwoman Mary Salas and former Councilman Jerry Rindone will square off in the Nov. 4 general election after Salas received 43.75 percent of the vote; while Rindone garnered 39.33 percent.
“I had an extremely high level of confidence,” Salas said about her race. “I think that the level of support in the community, it just gets stronger all the time.”
Salas said, if elected mayor, she wants to create more jobs for people in Chula Vista so that they “can work where they live.”
Salas received endorsements from the Chula Vista Firefighters Union and the Chula Vista Police Officers Association.
Winning the primary election in the mayoral race is a familiar tune for Salas.
In 2002 when she ran for mayor against Steve Padilla she won the primary election with 48.1 percent of the vote, only to lose to Padilla in the general election.
Rindone expressed gratitude to his supporters and said he is ready to win in November.
“I think I can provide the leadership and experience that is necessary in the next four years,” he said. “I’m excited and confident that we can take it all and we’re planning on being victorious.”
Rindone said as mayor he would focus on starting the construction of the bayfront, Chula Vista University and the Millennia project.
In the race for council seat one — which is an open seat with Councilman Rudy Ramirez being termed out — political heavyweights John McCann and Padilla outslugged four other candidates who were relatively unknown and new to the Chula Vista political arena.
McCann, president of the Sweetwater Union High School District’s board, outpointed Padilla in the race 38.48 percent to 31.78 percent.
“I want to thank the citizens of Chula Vista for the overwhelming victory,” McCann said in an emailed statement. “I am excited about the opportunity to bring transparency, ethics and positive reform to the city.”
McCann also said in his statement that he wants to restore the roads in Chula Vista and reduce traffic congestion.
McCann is the newly appointed president of the Sweetwater Union High School District board and the only member of five to not be indicted in a pay-for-play corruption case that has left the Sweetwater Union High School board decimated.
Padilla, the ex-mayor of Chula Vista, has been out of the Chula Vista political scene for eight years and said his victory showed that residents are ready for him to return to serving Chula Vista.
“I’m feeling very humbled and grateful by the response to our campaign,” he said.
Patricia Aguilar, the incumbent for seat two, was the highest vote getter of all the candidates in the Chula Vista races.
Aguilar received 7,864 votes or 48 percent while her opponent in November, attorney Dan Smith, managed 17 percent of the votes.
Aguilar said she is honored to be the highest vote getter.
“In the four years that I’ve been on the council I worked really, really hard for the people of Chula Vista,” she said. “I feel humbled that the people of Chula Vista recognized how hard I worked for them and those votes for me showed that.
City Attorney Glen Googins, who was uncontested, wasn’t on the ballot. Former Chula Vista Mayor Shirley Horton was unsuccessful in her run for the board of equalization.