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Chula Vista mayoral debate focuses on economics

Created: 16 April, 2010
Updated: 20 April, 2022

Chula Vista mayoral candidates from left to right: Steve Castañeda, Cheryl Cox, and Jorge Dominguez

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

The three mayoral candidates for Chula Vista held a debate this week that focused, for the most part, on how to bring economic stability to the second largest city in the County of San Diego.

The hour and a half debate was held on Monday, April 12, at the Civic Center Library. About 100 people attended. The debate was sponsored by the Northwest Civic Association of Chula Vista and encouraged residents to bring their economic-related questions.

Mayor Cheryl Cox, who is seeking reelection to her second term, is being challenged by Councilmember Steve Castaneda and Jorge Dominguez, an educator and Southwestern College trustee. The election is scheduled for June 8.

“We need to run the city in the same way we run our family bank account: We shouldn’t spend more than what we have,” Cox said in her introduction.

Castaneda, who has been one of Cox’s major critics during her term as mayor, said that Chula Vista can go back to being one of the most thriving cities in the county.

“I want Chula Vista to be a good place to work and live,” he said. “I think I can be more effective as mayor. There’s currently a lack of leadership in the mayor’s office.”

Dominguez, who is the “outsider” in the race, blamed the mayor and city council for the financial woes of the city.

“We’ve had inefficient leadership,” he said. “I would not hire any of these two,” Dominguez said, pointing to his opponents, Castaneda and Cox.

A major topic in the debate was the development of the bayfront and the establishment of a four-year university in the city.

“All of these plans are great, but we need to create jobs today,” Castaneda said.

Other topics touched in the debate included medical marijuana, trailer parks,

Cox and Dominguez said they are both against the sale of medical marijuana in stores in the city of Chula Vista.

“Nothing good comes from making drugs available to the community,” Cox said.

Cox is endorsed by her husband, County Supervisor Greg Cox, as well as by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and former Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Jerry R. Rindone.

On her campaign website,, Cox lists these topics as priorities: fiscal responsibility, development of the bayfront, energy efficiency, and “making local government work for you.”

Castaneda is endorsed by the Chula Vista Firefighters, the Chula Vista Police Officers’ Association, and the League of Conservation Voters.

On a campaign mailing, Castaneda lists the following as his priorities: creating jobs, making city hall more accountable, protecting historic neighborhoods, and public safety services. His website is

Dominguez doesn’t list any endorsements on his website,  Some of the issues he lists as his priorities include: economic stability, local development, and shutting down the power plant in the city.

The Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association announced that it will hold a candidate forum for all races in Chula Vista, including mayor, city council, and city attorney, on Monday, April 26, at 6 p.m., at the Lauderback Center, 333 Oxford St.

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