Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election

Now through June The Star-News will feature interviews with candidates running for a variety of public offices.

Marco Contreras


Marco Contreras is running for Chula Vista City Council District 1 being vacated by Council member John McCann who it currently running for mayor.

The 38-year-old Republican was born in San Diego, but grew up in Tijuana, Mexico until he was 16 because his parents could not afford to raise him here.

“It was never really a thought to live in the U.S., until I was given the opportunity to play football at Marian Catholic High School (now Mater Dei). I would cross the border every day to get to school, waited in line about two hours every day, then 9/11 happened and I moved in with my football coach.”

Contreras said his life changed from there as he fell in love with the U.S. and its values of freedom and opportunity.

“It was a big contrast,” he said. “What was cool was that this white family, Mike and Laura David pretty much adopted me. They had just gotten married and lived in Imperial Beach at that time. He had also kind of adopted this other guy who had a bad family situation, and he was African-American. So, I had a pleasant experience of the U.S. right away.”

Contreras met his high school sweetheart Natalie, and they were married in 2008, and have two children 12 and 9. He said right after college he went into the ministry, serving at his church as a youth pastor. He said when finances started not adding up, he decided to start his own business in 2013.

“I launched a custom brokerage (Rancho Customs Brokers), and the business took off,” he said. “We started doing really well, starting paycheck to paycheck, to now able to support my family, take my family on vacation, eventually buying a home in Chula Vista in 2014. I began developing deep roots in Chula Vista. I have lived in Otay/Eastlake for eight years now.”

Contreras said he was part of launching a church in Chula Vista in 2015/16 and is now a pastor at Awaken Church in Eastlake and said he has developed many relationships in the community, which he said is extremely important.

“I feel like politicians are great at making promises,” he said. “But I feel like it is almost comical, almost like the Oscars have, some award for the best promising politician. I feel nowadays that people do not abide with that. I feel that people do not love the idea of a career politician. And people want to see results. I think we would be a much greater society if we looked at a politician’s fruit instead of what they are promising to do.”

Contreras said that a marriage of almost 14 years and two children that love to spend time  together, his 10 years of business experience with four profitable businesses, and two more that are in the middle of launching are important things he brings to the table. One is a custom brokerage, a logistics industry, one is a trucking company, and one is a consulting firm for FDA regulations.

“I am not just bringing to the council that I promise to do X, Y and Z, and I will share my stance on some things and what I stand for, but I feel that I bring results to the table as well.”

Contreras said it is like the NFL in football. Players do not get drafted based on what they are promising to do. They look at their history and career and based on what they have done they get chosen.

“I feel it would be something really good for our communities if we look at our history,” he said. “What we have done in our lives for the past 10 to 20 years.”

Contreras said he believes that Eastlake and East Chula Vista area beautiful part of town.

“Roads are taken care of, beautiful homes, it is safe, and it feels like a family oriented community,” he said. “And I love that. I feel that I best represent the values of our community. Having a family, being a business owner, someone who cares about family values, and someone that cares about our safety.”

Contreras said his vision for District 1 is for it to be the safest district in all of San Diego County.

“I am going to fight for that. That is my vision,” he said. “If you have vision, you have focus, and you strive for that. That means I will support our police department greatly. I want to make sure that they have all their funds that are necessary so they can do their job really well. We cannot forget what happened in 2020 when there were some radical extremist groups wanting to defund the police, and 2020 brought many things to the surface. It really matters who you elect to office because these people make decisions for all of us,” adding that if it ever came up again, he would oppose defunding the police department.

Contreras said he believes he brings his business experience, with the skill of solving problems, finding solutions, and making City Council extremely effective.

“I want to support our small business,” he said. “In 2020, how many small businesses were shut down in Chula Vista? Just because a few people decided that some businesses were essential, and some were not. These were people’s livelihoods. I have heard from people in the construction industry, that Chula Vista is the hardest city to do business in. I want to change that. I want to help our business side of the community to make it more effective, and to find ways to attract more businesses to Chula Vista.”

Contreras said he wants to make sure that Eastlake and East Chula Vista stays beautiful.

“Make sure that funds are there for our parks, our roads are taken care of, continue to support our family values here, and finally I want to be very clear that I will oppose the mileage tax that SANDAG is trying to propose.”

Contreras said getting a four-year university would only be a good thing for Chula Vista.

“I think it would put us on the map,” he said. “In talking with the City, I know that they are wanting to work on its digital infrastructure, and I have contacts with the best technologies in the world that I want to bring to Chula Vista. I say that I want to put Chula Vista on the map, and second would be the university and I would support it.”

Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election