CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Chula Vista councilman John McCann and former congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar came out on top in this year's primary election. They have since been campaigning and debating, as we zero in on Election Day November 8.
The candidates are looking to succeed Mayor Mary Casillas Salas who will finish her second term this year, "terming out" and vacating the seat.
CBS 8 interviewed both candidates in May, ahead of the primary election. Now, with the race heating up, we've done it again.
We gave both candidates five (5) minutes to answer/address three questions/topics:
1. Homelessness has developed into a major topic for Chula Vista residents over the summer, with the situation at Harborside Park near the school. We know there isn't an easy fix.
- What will you do to address the homelessness issue in Chula Vista?
- Thoughts on a shelter?
- Seniors make up a sizable amount of people experiencing homelessness in Chula Vista. What will you do for them?
2. Development: We have the Bayfront redevelopment project in the works.
- How will you guide that that into completion?
- Housing is a topic on everyone's mind right now: where do you stand on the need for more affordable housing?
- How will the communities in Chula Vista move forward on the path to developing housing people can afford?
- What do you say to constituents concerned with their rising rent and property prices?
3. Why you and not your competitor?
- Why should voters turn out to support you?
- What realistic changes can your constituents expect to see if you're elected?
After the questions, we gave both candidates two (2) minutes at end of the interview for them to address voters however they liked.
Chula Vista native and businessman Ammar Campa-Najjar is vying for the mayoral seat, after two campaigns for federal office. In 2020, Campa-Najjar ran as the Democratic competition against Republican Darrel Issa. Issa ultimately won the race for California's 50th Congressional seat. In 2018, Campa-Najjar ran against then-incumbent Republican Duncan Hunter Jr. for the same seat; Hunter Jr. won that race. Campa-Najjar previously served as a deputy regional field director for President Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, worked in the Obama White House, the Department of Labor, and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Campa-Najjar is a graduate of Southwestern College and San Diego State University.
WATCH: Full interview with Chula Vista Mayor candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar:
John McCann is currently one of Chula Vista's City Councilmembers, representing District 1. This is his fourth term, also serving as Deputy Mayor, having worked under three mayors. McCann has also been on several local boards and committees, including the City of Chula Vista Planning Commission, Economic Strategy Committee, Housing Advisory Commission, and Beautification Committee. McCann is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and has served on active duty in Iraq. McCann grew up in Chula Vista, graduating from San Diego State University.
WATCH: Full interview with Chula Vista Mayor candidate John McCann